Live-blogging Useless 101

23 01 2008

Get ready kids, cause we’re fucking learning!

Here’s the skinny with this post. As of this second, I’m sitting in class learning about…searching the web.

rrright.

So, instead of listening (this is a graduate level course, mind you), I’m going to live blog it! woo!

18:47-it’s way too hot in here. got through typing the intro above and just clued in to professor Boring-ton. “scientific journals were created hundreds years ago, blah blah blah…”

18:49- ooo! a handout!…search assignment….good lord. are they kidding? it’s a little known fact that grad student are kings of the google search. fuckin’ google searches us, when it needs to get shit done!

18:53- unbelievable, after last weeks TWO hour class about searching the web basic, we’re going over again. “remember to you AND or OR in your searches to improve your results…” I’m sorry to all of you. These are going to be joke-less hours.

18:54-man, today, while I did my ritualistic morning blog check, I found a crazy link! I guess some group made a ridiculous SNES-style game about Charles Barkley!! You guys have got to see this! Remind me and I’ll link to it net post. Which is hopefully soon.

19:02- still on the review, so i’m going to go ahead and post a link to that game. CHARLEY BARKLEY!

19:08- this is really a very odd experience. the prof talk about searching databases for 10 minutes, and honestly doesn’t really say much, and then she goes to the computer (projected onto a screen at the front of the room, obviously) and proceedes to work through EXACTLY what she just said. But, she fiddles around like she has no idea what she’s doing. Just muttering. It’s kind of funny that this web search-ologist, or whatever her title is, still sits here and mutters about not finding what she wants to find. “is this it? nope, no, that’s not it. hmm, this looks interesting. don’t need that.”

19:12- These two hours are evidence that a reality show based on web searching would never fly…

19:14- hey, if anyone out there know a book publisher, I have a really great book idea. It’d be a cookbook, that’s doesn’t have recipes, just good combination. Like a bunch of food flow charts. So it’ll be like, “Chicken–> Do you have lemon? Yes-> grill with salt and pepper. No-> Do you have tomatoe and onion? Yes->Throw in together with chicken, and wine and bake.” So, just a bunch of simple combinations that work well, but aren’t really recipes. It’d be called “Cookbook” and you’d throw a stripper cutting a roast with a sabre saw on the cover. BANG! there’s a best seller for ya!

19:23- we just did a search for “vitamin h” to show how one of the science databases (PubMED) changes your search term. But what i want to know is, what the heck is vitamin h?

ooo! also known as Biotin, it’s used in fat and amino acid metabolism. as well as cell growth. it maintains nail and hair strength! and the bacteria in your guts makes a hell of a lot of it! Highfive bacteria!!

19:35- i just realized that i’ve been totally zoned out for the last ten minutes. i’m getting very close to live-blogging what i wish would happen in Useless 101…

19:40- my goodness! finally done review. going to learn about e-alerts that basically kick you in the ass whenever new papers in your field come out (which, for a scientist, is very useful!)

19:48- whew! we’re cooking now! along with a bit of actual interesting stuff (creating some of the dorkiest rss feeds ever !!), my multitasking skills are being tested with this window, the bbc, and messenger all blinking at me!!

20:03- this is actually pretty crazy. you can get email alerts and rss feeds for anything! as an example, this would be the same as getting notified whenever google had a new site about “cherry pie” added, if you were someone who really likes cherry pie (or vaugue sexual innuendo, i guess…)

20:06- this must be how SKYNET got out of control in Terminator. I mean one day the internet is telling you to read this, wash that, eat at this time, go to sleep now, etc; next minute, POW! fucking email alert to bow down to robotic overlords! (This made sense in my brain…somehow)

20:08- oh boy, the prof is going on with a “in my day story”…

20:09- “this is not the dark ages, im talking about. its not that long ago…”    Yeah, yeah. Save it, grandma!

20:29- well that’s it. the last twenty minutes kind of fizzeled away. two hours gone from my life! yeah, grad school!!!

Oh what could have been…





“Hurry, there’s a prowler outside my door!”

11 01 2008

8 months and 9 days

That’s how long it took before I almost go kicked out of my PhD program.

And how did I find myself in such dire straights? Running through biology 101 naked? Selling answers to final exams out of the trunk of my car? Making black market Advil from biological grade ibuprofen? Seducing Professor Sexington??

Nope!

APPARENTLY when you finish your thesis, you’ve got to sign and submit some sort of release form that says the school can release your thesis the Library of Canada (home to other great Canadian works of literature). So the frantic call from the grad secretary led to some nasty to calls to the grad office, who are useless blowhards. Well, it could of been worse, but it sure could have been a lot more interesting!

Prowlers! Remember those? In old movies, the mousey housewife left home alone, when suddenly a gangly, white guy shows up in a large overcoat and goofy hat, just trying to catch a peek of desperate house-cooch! What ever happened to those guys? I just watched “The BAT“!! A cool, old, Vincent Prince flick where he doesn’t really do anything of interest, but just watching his hammy shwarm across each scene is prize enough to sit through this film. But the “Bat” in the picture is really nothing more than a prowler with some sewn in claws on his glove. He’s trying to get into a house (inhabited by a troupe of stereotypical ’50s ladies) to get to a stash of loot! But there’s seems to be a zillion other prowler movies out there. But they’re all pre-90s. In the neon decade, prowler movies seemed to become slasher movies, and since then prowlers have become crap-horror-cliche.

What gives??





I have a hell of a cool fiancée!

30 12 2007

Ugh!

As it stands right now, I have about two days left until I’m back in the lab. Although I did spend a good portion of the break typing away on my computer, trying to finish the next paper in my expanding list of “need to write asap” papers, I really can’t complain. Christmas went well this year. A 5-hour stint in the local hospital waiting room was probably the worst gift I recieved this year (thanks Grandma!), my lady-friend made up for this in spades with some present purchases that went way above and beyond!

por example:

Holy

Fucking

Shit,

Batman!!

(isn’t this one incredible! it shoots plastic discs! its a parents worst nightmare!!)

But, with all this gift giving, I made sure to remember the true spirit of the season: Relax-isfaction! So, during the course of this break, I spent an inordinant amount of time watching various which I have not yet found time to watch. Now, because I love you, I will list them with a small (five words or less) review. Please enjoy.

Superbad– funnier than I thought.

I now pronouce you chuck and larry– Surprisingly, funnier than I thought.

The Bourne Ultimatum– Good fights, thrilling execution.

No Country for Old Men– Great, but needs multiple viewings.

Waitress– Unbelievably charming. Excellent acting.

The Heartbreak Kid– Crap. Crap crap crap crap.

Juno– Best movie I’ve seen this ye…(ah, to hell with the rules!)ar! A riot from start to finish, with fantastic performances from everyone involved. The witty dialogue and “NO FUCKEN’ WAY!”-type throwbacks are consistent. Please. Go see this movie. Tell your friends to see this movie. Write about this movie online. And, buy it on dvd. This is this year’s “Little Miss Sunshine”/indy movie darling. The moment the end credits began to roll, I wanted to see it again!

Well, alas, all good things must come to an end. I sit here on the eve of New Year’s Eve (an event which I hate to the n-th degree!), procrastinating with this blog rather than being hard at work. Here’s hoping that 2008 bring you all joy and happiness, and that the world somehow manages to recover from the biggest tragedy of the year! 

~Mad

p.s. get well, grandma…





A Christmas Cod Dinner

25 12 2007

Wow, my mom has just gone old-school!Coming home for Christmas, after FINALLY moving out (listen. I’m a Portuguese male, and thus I carry the “momma’s boy” gene. It’s a miracle I’m out before I’m hitched!!), but coming back home to help out around the house was quite a blast this year. As I’m sure is true for a lot of parents who have come from “the old country,” behaviors have changed over time. Gone are the extensively planned, home-cooked masterpiece meals each night. The busy North American schedule doesn’t really give any worker time to handle something like that. Thankfully, I had a relative old-school upbringing (read: full of slaps, screaming, and hard labour). But both of my sisters recieved a little bit more of the western style of parenting, referred to as a “no fucking clue how to raise a kid” style. Well this year, with tension running high as my mother’s three children were charged with cleaning the house (and keeping my father from messing up anything we’ve cleaned), hints of the old beast came to the surface!! It was an incredible spectacle to behold!

“hey, daughter, can you please clean this up?”

“no, i’m watching tv…”

(a sly smile creeps across my mother’s face, followed what seems like the sound of snapping twigs.)

“GET OFF YOUR USELESS ASS, AND GET TO WORK! (mom’s strength kicks into overdrive, as she seems to lift and hurl my sister across the room. even after years without use, my Pavlovian response to the initial smile and sanity snap has already spring me to action, working at true immigrant speed!)

It certainly was a sight I missed.

It may not have played out EXACTLY like that, but, hey, I’m here to entertain. Can I be blamed for a little exaggeration?

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays Everyone!

~Mad and his 9-inch dick