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March 6, 2011

Temporal Disconnect: An Underwater Oceanographic Institution?

Martha’s Vineyard oceanview, Cape Cod, November 2008. I was walking along the beach today in Woods Hole here on Cape Cod. I wanted some fresh air and felt like collecting some seashells. You always find the best seashells in the winter. There’s no one else on the beach, usually, so the biggest, most beautiful seashells will just be waiting for you there on the sand, perhaps tangled in some seaweed. …

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March 1, 2011

Technology Anachronisms in Science

MacDiff program running in a Mac Classic environment emulator on my Windows XP netbook, January 2011. Ever since I starting doing geology research back in 2003, I have encountered technology anachronisms in science. I find these technology anachronisms intriguing, humorous, and- sometimes- frustrating. Often, the challenge of using technology in science is not keeping up with the latest-and-greatest technology but rather remembering or learning to use very old, outdated technology. …

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February 20, 2011

A Million Random Digits

First page of random digits in “A Million Random Digits” book. Image taken from Amazon.com. Earlier this evening I met up with three classmates (all girls, by the way; my statistics class is about 90% female) to work on programming our latest statistics homework into MATLAB. Working in a group is easier as four pairs of eyes tend to catch code errors faster than one pair of eyes. Also, we …

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The Power and Beauty of Statistics

I am taking an applied statistics course this semester and very much appreciating and enjoying it. Some readers sent me a couple of videos about statistics, and I thought I would share them with you here. Enjoy! 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes Hans Rosling Video taken from YouTube. Here’s a link to a longer Hans Rosling video.

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February 18, 2011

A Conversation with My Doctor

Last weekend I made a quick trip down to Tennessee to visit family since my great-grandmother recently passed away. I flew out of and back into Boston Logan airport. Before I headed back down to the little village of Woods Hole, I went to visit my doctor at MIT Medical– a facility that serves MIT staff, students, and their families. I had a somewhat entertaining conversation with my doctor. The …

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February 7, 2011

Scientific Perspiration

Note that I originally wrote this essay during my first year of graduate school. Three years later, I still feel that I am an average graduate student. However, I also feel that since I started graduate school I’ve gained a large amount of confidence and greatly developed my knowledge in geology, chemistry, and mathematics. I have also been humbled. Although I know much, much more than when I started graduate …

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January 28, 2011

Brilliant Clutter

My home dining room table, cluttered with computer, papers, notebook, phone, and cat, Spring 2010. Some of the most brilliant, productive people I know have the most cluttered offices and homes. For instance, I know of one MIT professor whose office is a mess, though he always knows where to find things. Similarly, my friend and mentor James Randi has an office that is full of clutter. Randi doesn’t know …

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January 23, 2011

Caught in a Bad Project

A friend* just sent me a link to this video called “Bad Project,” a parody of the Lady Gaga song “Bad Romance.” I think this video is hilarious! I love the Lady Gaga outfits made out of laboratory supplies.  Video taken from Youtube. Since I am currently on my third PhD advisor (I left my first advisor, then my second advisor took a job at another institution- though to his …

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January 11, 2011

Bee-Bop the General Exam Bear

Bee-Bop on my desk after I passed my general exam, Woods Hole, October 2008. This is Bee-Bop, the big, furry, creepy, blue toy that PhD students in the Geology & Geophysics Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) pass from student to student. The toy is held in the possession of whomever has most recently passed her (or his, but most geology students right now are female, so I’ll go …

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January 7, 2011

Mystery Novels and Mass Spectrometers

The Element2 mass spectrometer at WHOI. Image taken from here. This past week geoblogger Callan Bentley of Mountain Beltway reviewed books on time, fallacies, dirt, and climate change. There are some great books in his reviews– some I’ve read already and some I’ve added to my reading list. Alas, I am afraid that my reading list is quite long. I’m very impressed at how many non-fiction books Callan manages to …

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