do u like me?

I sent out something called a "resume" earlier today. I kind of stumbled across a job posting that I may by some cosmic coincidence be almost qualified for despite the fact that I have been squireled away in various laboratories for the past eight years working on experiments that maybe a couple of hundred people on earth would really understand--much less care about--and, it isn't a research job!!!

(It is a job where knowing a thing or two about biology would come in handy...)

And I'm already checking my email obsessively to see if anyone cares. I'm giddy and terrified at the prospect of doing SOMETHING ELSE for a living. I had to take a long walk right after I hit "send". Just like that, I'm back in 7th grade, and I just sent Ashley Johnson* a note to (ahem) probe her possible feelings towards me. 4th period English is a complete wash today, is what I'm saying.

Man it is weird to be doing this for the first time in my life at damn near thirty.

*You don't actually think I'm going to use her real name, do you?


why was i not informed?!?!?

When the Smashing Pumpkins reunited after seven years to plot a U.S. concert series, the alternative rock band made a surprising choice for its first shows: a small club in the mountains of North Carolina.

The Orange Peel, a 942-capacity venue, will host the Grammy Award-winning band when it returns to the United States for a nine-show run that starts Saturday in Asheville.


The answer to the above question, naturally, is that the first I heard about this was just now...on NPR.

F&%# I am getting old.

this post is not about stem cells

Really. It isn't.

"Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical, and it is not the only option before us."

--President Bush, upon vetoing legislation yesterday that would loosen restrictions on federal funding for embyonic stem cell research.

A gold star goes to the first person who can convince me that the quote above is not a perfectly sound argument against waging a preemptive war, even one against a Very Bad Man who does Very Bad Things.


durham rising--you have to be there to experience it (no, really)

Can anyone think of a reason why "recording devices" are among the list of prohibited items for the block party we're having this weekend? And why "disposable cameras" are on the enumerated list of allowed items (implying that non-disposable cameras are not allowed)?

All I can come up with is that there will be some live music being performed, and many concerts do prohibit cameras and recording devices. But--and no disrespect to the hard-working performers scheduled for Durham Rising is intended here--there is no one performing at this thing who wouldn't benefit from a wider distribution of their music and/or likeness, ya know?

So really--whassupwidat???

Bag searches prior to entering the controled perimeter hardly strike me as the way to make the people that have been avoiding downtown Durham all these years (which is to say, pretty much everyone) feel welcome.


open letter

Dear (name of publisher redacted),

I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute a chapter to your book series, (redacted). It is a privilege to write for for such a well-regarded series, and I sincerely hope that the quality of my submission reflects this.

I can appreciate that publishing, and scientific publishing in particular, is an increasingly global enterprise. I believe that this is, on balance, to the betterment of us all. Moreover, I understand that yours is not a business in which profitability is easily attained, nor is it easily maintained, as the ratio of your production costs to sales is, in a word, unenviable, even in the best of times. (No doubt, it is for this reason that you depend on academics, the only people on earth who are willing to slave for months over a 10,000 word, heavily annotated and referenced piece in exchange for nothing more than a lifetime discount of 30% on your products, which typically retail for 300% more than mass-market books of comparable heft.)


Many responsibilities exist in the process of marshalling a written work from the author's hard drive to a bound copy on literally dozens of academic library shelves. Of all these that could be outsourced to a developing country where the typical citizen's command of English is--shall we say, not necessarily on par with most of the Anglosphere--why in the name of Xenu would you choose copy editing?


It would be one thing if I were correcting my own mistakes in the proofs you've sent me...but I am spending all of my time looking for the mistakes that are entirely new.

As it apparently falls to me to serve not only as author, but also as senior copy editor, I must insist I be compensated for these extra duties.

How about 40% off?

Warmest regards,
Dr. B


why does colin powell hate america?

Just kidding. This is awesome.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said today he favors immediately closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison and moving its detainees to U.S. facilities.

The prison, which now holds about 380 suspected terrorists, has tarnished the world's perception of the United States, Powell said.

"If it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo. Not tomorrow, but this afternoon. I'd close it," he said.

"And I would not let any of those people go," he said. "I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was, well then they'll have access to lawyers, then they'll have access to writs of habeas corpus. So what? Let them. Isn't that what our system is all about?"

Nice to see a (nominal) Republican who views this issue from the perspective of the United States Constitution rather than from the script of 24.

even though i am against texan presidents in principle

I was pretty tough on Ron Paul a few weeks back. I remain concerned about a number of his positions, specifically: his relatively hard line on immigration and his bizarre fixation on the federal reserve and the gold standard (I know, I know, but there is much more low-hanging fruit for libertarian reform in this country before we go mucking about with our monetary system, doncha think?)


The fact of the matter is that Dr. Paul is doing remarkably well on the publicity front, far exceeding the expectations that any sane person would have placed on him a few months back. (I know he is still polling near the bottom, but remember it is June of 2007, and support for the alleged GOP front-runners is so fickle that grown men are responding to Fred Thompson as if they were 14-year-old girls and Thompson was Justin Timberlake. Or whoever 14-year-old girls are stupid over these days.)

Word is that Paul's donations are up. Way up. As in possibly on par with McCain's

And it may have something to do with the fact that he is the only person in the GOP race who is articulating a solid opposition to the Iraq war (and arguably, the most consistently anti-war in either party's slate of candidates). When (not if) the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, an anti-war GOP candidate is probably the best bet to beat her (not to mention the best bet for bringing our entanglement in the Middle East to a reasonably quick conclusion.)

Given my recent ambivalence towards voting (and the fact the 2008 NC primary might as well be held in 2010) I've decided that even a nominal monetary contribution would have 1000 times the effect the empty gesture of actually punching a ballot (particularly in my district).

So I gave Dr. Paul some cash today, my first contribution to any candidate for anything, ever.

Donate Today



(The following is an erruption that my scientifically employed bretheren will understand, and everyone else will probably not understand nor care to. For this, I envy them.)

For the millionth time...If there is any way at all to verify independently the integrity of your reagent...especially if said reagent is, you know, the drug (or in my case, growth factor) that you are supposedly looking at the effect of--you do it every f$&%ing time you crack open a new vial, even if the 25 before were fine, just fine, thank you. And you do it before you run experiments with it...NOT AFTER, DUMBASS!

Got it?

(I need a beer. And the last week of my life back.)


because there is a chow bouncer. and her name is Brick. and she hates me.

It's not like an official policy or anything, but there are just certain people and topics I really don't ever want mentioned on this blog. Certain recently incarserated hotel heiresses, for example.

But damn, this sure is funny.

belgian brewpub in the bull city?

The mere thought that something like this could happen in Trinity Park makes me so happy I could weep.

[Residents of Trinity Park] ended up hearing an intriguing proposal from local beer-crafter Sean Wilson to transform the Trinity Community Church at the corner of Lamond and Gregson -- on the very border between the neighborhood and the Brightleaf district just a couple of blocks down...

Wilson proposes a seven-barrel brewery for on-premises consumption only (as opposed to a brew plant like Holly Springs' Carolina Brewery, which would require an industrial zoning.) The remainder of the concept, however, is still open to some interpretation. Wilson noted he was considering a restaurant concept around a Belgian or farmhouse theme, both of which would go well with both the church architecture and your favorite beer. Intriguingly, a second possibility would be to de-emphasize the dining and turn it into a brewpub-theater that could show classic or arthouse films or host music performances. Even with the entertainment possibilities, Wilson projects closing at 10pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends.

Traffic accessibility issues aside, I think a business of this sort could thrive in that location. It is completely walkable for residents of Trinity Park and West Village (both disproportionately populated with youngish BoBo types who go to brewpubs and such), and easy bike ride along the greenway from Northgate Park (i.e., for me) and Duke Park, similarly close to Old West Durham/Watts/Hillandale (similar to the aforementioned neighborhoods, but slightly more afluent) and two blocks from an area that more outlying residents already drive to for food and drink (Brightleaf Square).

I also hear there's a university of some sort a mile or two away...

(crosses fingers)


support upcoming artists (esp. those that are married to me)

Head on over to [m]'s place and check out what she will very soon have for sale (a few more pieces at the bottom of this post, and be sure to check back for updates.)