Wednesday, July 05, 2006

50 Most Popular Science Blogs

For your reading pleasure.

It's good for you.

The 40 Questions Meme: Cause it's Summertime @ the Day Job, So Why Not?

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
Oh, yea, right. I got out of my first speeding ticket because the cop used to work for my parents. Small towns!

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?

3. When's the last time you've been sledding?
What a poorly constructed sentence.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
Are we talking in the biblical sense, or actual sleeping? Cause, you know, people are sexy, but there are, indeed, people who should stay far, far away from other people. Like, forever.

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
Of course. I saw a ghost in a B&B in Cape Town. I will not stay there again.

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
Not particularly.

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
Doesn't much matter what I think, does it?

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
Keira Knightley.

9. Do you stay friends with your ex's?
No, but I'm hoping to change that.

10. Do you know how to play poker?
That's like asking if I know how to smoke a cigar and drink whisky. I mean, *Yea.*

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
Yes. Hullo, Clarion!

12. What's your favorite commercial?
I'm partial to the Apple Computer 1984 commerical classic.

13. What are you allergic to?
My pancreas, apparently.

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around do you run red lights?

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
Yes, several, but they're likely to come out in my fiction.

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?
Yes. Once. Never again.

18. How often do you remember your dreams?
Usually. I have a lot of crazy fucking dreams.

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
This weekend, baby: Steph and Ian, you guys rock!

20. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles?
Yes, but should I?

21. What's the one thing on your mind now?
I reserve comment.

22. Do you know who Ghetto-ass barbie is?
Do you mean "Who" or "What"? Cause if it's who, and Barbie's a real person now, that's fucking scary. I had My Little Ponies and GI Joes, and they had wars, dude.

23. Do you always wear your seat belt?

24. What cell service do you use?
I don't have a cell phone. Which is really ironic because, of course, I work for a company that builds, designs and upgrades cell phone towers. Word of advice: don't get a Cingular phone for another 3 years.

25. Do you like Sushi?
Yes. Is Sushi really a capitalized word?

26. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?
Yes. Several.

a) I was coming home from the movie theater I worked at one night and stopped at a red light on a deserted street. The light turned green, I moved my foot to the gas and started for the intersection, and a car full of guys ran the other light going about 100 MPH. They missed me by about a foot.

b) Got T-boned in South Africa while trying to cross two lanes of traffic. I wasn't driving, and was on the non-T-boned side, but if the guy would have been going faster... well.

c) My pancreas exploded, which I'd count as an accident of sorts.

27. What do you wear to bed?
Depends on the season, but I'm quite partial to my oversized Nanook Nick's shirt and shorts or sweat pants. Terribly unsexy, but very comfortable.

28. Been caught stealing?
Caught? No.

29. What shoe size do you have?
Size 11. Just like Kate Winslett!

30. Do you truly hate anyone?
No, because that would mean I'd have strong feelings for someone I didn't care about, and I have no interest in giving anybody that honor.

31. Classic Rock or Rap?

32. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
I reserve comment.

33. Favorite Song?
Currently? "Fix You" by Coldplay.

34. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror?
All the time.

35. What food do you find disgusting?
Those gnocchi things with the olives

36. Do you sing in the shower?
Only when I'm really, really, really happy.

37. Did you ever play, "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours"?
Not that I recall. I figured out plumbing pretty early.

38. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
Oh yes. Sadly. Though not many of those people are still my friends, so that says something about how close we were...

39. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Yes. The most memorable being in South Africa when I was waiting at a bus stop with this skinny blond chick and these two drunk guys came up and started saying all these really lewd, violently sexual things to her and telling her what they were going to do to her, and I turned on them both and started a screaming, swearing tirade about how it was disrespectful to harass people while they were waiting for the bus.

The guys moved on.

40. Have you ever been punched in the face?
Yes, but not hard, and she was wearing gloves. So.

Summertime at the Dayjob

I'm reminded of why I've kept this job for so long.

Cause for several months during the summer, I get paid to write and play computer games for 8 hours every day.


In Which the Protagonist is Chagrined

So, my buddies Ian and Stephanie were in town for the long weekend. They're living in Dayton where he's working toward a PhD in material science (we keep trying to call him a physicist, but it's "Material Science" apparently) and she's working as a medical receptionist to support the household before heading back to grad school herself (like me, she's a history major. Yay!).

Stephanie and I met when we were 14 via the high school drama department. We hated each other at the time. She was the backstage bitch, and I was the onstage bitch. Our most famous encounter was during a show where - because of the limited resources we had - I was supposed to get offstage from a scene and then go back onstage to move a bookcase once the curtain went down. Stephanie was stage managing, which meant it was her job to make sure all the shit got moved.

Well, you know, one night after a particularly great show where I just thought I was the hotest shit ever to hit the stage, I waltzed back into the green room, absolutely preening, and went to my locker to get some more chamomile tea (I did a lot of yelling in that particular show).

About three minutes after I walk into the green room, Stephanie tromps in - 5'4 and barely 120 lbs at the time - and you can practically *see* the steam coming out of her ears. She storms right up to me and screams, "You didn't move the *fucking* bookshelf! It was your job to move the bookshelf! I just about killed myself moving the goddamn bookshelf! Remember to move the goddamn bookshelf! Do you know how important this is??"

Now, a stage manager storming into the green room and screaming at an actor in front of God and everyone wasn't something that, well, happened. There was the heirarchy, right? If an actor fucks up, well, you come to them later, quietly, and set things right.

Oh, no, not Stephanie.

And never again did I forget to move the goddamn book shelf.

We didn't really become close friends until the theater rivalry was over and we started college and started re-examining what we were doing with our lives. It turned out that we had a lot more in common than we suspected, which is probably why we hated each other in high school. Now I think of Stephanie as the little sister I don't have (I mean, I have a sister, but, well, we really don't have anything in common); that is, someone who's loud and obnoxious like me, and even looks like me (when she arrived in Chicago and stepped out of the car, I saw that we had the same haircut), and who has the same sorts of fears and has overcome a lot of the same things. She also decided one day that she didn't like her life, and she's worked very hard to create a new one.

In any case, because I've always been on the move, and now that they are too, a lot of the "what's going on with Kameron" stuff gets transmitted via my blog (I told Stephanie she really needs to start one, too, but she's afraid it'll all be about quilting and scrapbooking, to which I'd reply, "So the fuck what?").

So, a few times this weekend, the subject of exes came up, and after hearing about the shitstorm that was my relationship with B and hearing a few things via the blog, Stephanie said she regretted not meeting him. I told her it was best she hadn't, because he'd probably have assumed that because I spoke to Ian, I must be flirting with him, and I'd have spent the whole weekend trying to convince him that I wasn't going to screw Stephanie's husband (who is nice and all, but I feel like I'm related to him, so that idea is just, well, *icky*).

And, really, how exhausting is it to reassure someone that you're not going to go out and screw the closest human being around the second he turns his back?

In any case, the four of us went out to a great pancake house in Evanston yesterday morning, and I was blabbing to Stephanie about how I'd had to break things off with B when I realized I didn't respect him, and if you can't respect someone, how can you love them? She agreed that that was a pretty mature thing to do.

"Apparently," Stephanie said, "if you talk to marriage counselors, you can figure out which couples will stay together and which won't by measuring the amount of contempt they have for each other. Once couples start down the road toward contempt, there's really pretty much none who can turn it around. Once you disrespect someone, things are pretty much over."

"It's fucked up, too," I said. "I mentioned him, what, five times in the five months since we broke up, and he thought I was, like, saying these really horrible things about him, that I was attacking him on my blog and calling him all sorts of names. All the stuff I said was true stuff. He's kinda wacky and all, but I never said the stuff he said. I mean, he was posting about how disgusting I was, and how I was a shitty writer and used all my friends and was going to spend the rest of my life alone and without love. Which, you know, I've heard before."

"I didn't get that," Stephanie said. "I thought you were being mature about how you felt."

"Oh no," Ian said, and turned to me. "No way. I totally thought you were trying to destroy him."

Me, Steph, and Jenn all looked at Ian, a little perplexed.

"Huh?" I said.

"I mean, you might as well have kicked him in the balls," Ian said. "When you tell a guy `I don't respect you,' that's the worst possible thing you can say. There's like this heirarchy of things you can do to a guy: kick him in the balls, tell him he has a small penis, and then, worst of all, tell him you don't respect him. It means he's not worth bothering with. Not worth anything at all. It's the worst possible insult."

"You're fucking kidding me," I said.

"Seriously," he said. "I honestly thought you'd thought of the worst possible thing to say to him, the one that would cut him the worst, and then posted it up on your blog to your international audience."

"Fuck," I said, "I so totally didn't mean to do that. I thought I was being really honest about the whole thing. I didn't want to be a jerk."

"Well, I mean, what's the female equivalent of that?" he said.

"What do you mean?" Stephanie said. "Of disrespect?"

"I don't know that a guy saying he didn't respect me would be so huge because -" I began, and then stopped. "Oh. The female equivalent is having a guy tell you he loves you and thinks you're the most amazing person in the world and then once he has sex with you says you're a dirty whore and he was only using you for sex."

"Oh, totally," Stephanie said.

"That's it," Ian said. "Same thing."

"Holy shit," I said. "I acted like an ASSHOLE."

"And I thought it was just a mature thing to say," Stephanie said.

Well, crap.

I somehow always manage to come across as more of a bitch than I really think I am, which is likely why so many people call me one. I mean, I don't *feel* evil.


Top Ten Trivia Tips About... Me

1) Kameron is only six percent water.
2) Kameron is the oldest playable musical instrument in the world.
3) Michelangelo finished his great statue of Kameron in 1504, after eighteen months work!
4) In Eastern Africa you can buy beer brewed from Kameron!
5) Kameron is born white; her pink feathers are caused by pigments in her typical diet of shrimp.
6) Kameron cannot burp - there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in her stomach.
7) Kameron can use only about ten percent of her brain!
8) 99 percent of the pumpkins sold in the US end up as Kameron.
9) In Japan, Kameron can only be prepared by chefs specially trained and certified by the government!
10) In Vermont, the ratio of cows to Kameron is 10:1!

You gotta go to Africa for the beer, really. Though that statue pretty much rocks, too.

Get your own tips

One of This Weekend's Discussions...

.. was why the hell aren't we talking about vaccinating girls and boys against HPV (or, rather, the four kinds of HPV that prevent 70% of all cases of cervical cancer). I mean, women aren't just magically contracting it all by themselves, any more than we reproduce through parthenogenesis.

My buddy Ian wondered if anybody had even tried the vaccine on men, and whether or not it'd even be effective.

Well, turns out, it is:

And there is still discussion about whether to vaccinate a group of people who don't get cervical cancer: men. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, after all, and vaccinating men would likely protect their sexual partners.

There's a small advantage for men and boys: The vaccine protects against genital warts and rare cases of penile cancer.

Aha. So, studies on guys have been done.

Sooooo... why am I not seeing the idea of vaccinating boys being discussed in 90% of the articles about the vaccine?

Besides, you know, sexism?

On Not Being "Fat Enough"

"When Kathleen LeBesco gave a talk at an academic meeting last fall about how, as an overweight professor, she influenced her students' ideas about body size, there was only one problem: She wasn't fat."

Well. Fat's really a relative term, isn't it?

I mean, among a bunch of models and actresses I'd be considered a freakin' whale. I mean, Elizabeth Hurley has nightmares about being a size 14. And, you know, I'm a size 14. And according to the BMI, still fat, though it took a diabetic coma to get me here.

I'm currently reading a volume LeBesco edited called, Bodies Out of Bounds, which is mostly pretty good (after a stop-and-go iffy sort of start).

What interests me about this article is the assumption that because LeBesco doesn't currently have an obese BMI that she's suddenly not fit enough to talk about fat studies. Because suddenly all of her experiences as a fat woman in society are completely invalid?

Speaking as someone who can "pass" (for the moment, in some circles) I can tell you this: no matter what the scale says or what other people say, I still have an image of myself as a fat girl who takes up too much space.

You could argue here about what's more valid/important/real: society's perception of you, or your perception of yourself.

(via bfb)