PhD Blues

December 30, 2009

I was trying to take care of some paperwork for school today so I was browsing around the Wayne State webpage. I ended up on their PhD students webpage. This page contains forms and information that all PhD students at Wayne State will need. There are timelines of what needs to be done when, forms you will need to fill out, oh and what is that there at the bottom?

Feeling Blue? I wonder what is behind that link.

Oh yes, depression counselling. So included with all the other forms and stuff you need to know, a helpful link to the school counselor and what looks like a dedicated support group for PhD students. It is nice to know that depression is a an inevitable consequence of getting a PhD. My only question, is this limited to getting the PhD or does this extend to having a PhD also?

The Real Wikipedia

December 2, 2009

I was poking around on wikipedia today, trying to see what the traffic was like to some of the MRI pages. I found this page that has the most visited wikipedia pages broken down by month. The top few are obvious, the front page and a few different search pages, after that some current events, swine flu, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, etc. If you keep reading it quickly becomes a mix or random pages but you start noticing that many of the top pages form a common theme: sex, list of sex positions, human penis size, I could keep listing them but I think you get the picture. Looking at previous months the articles about current events changed but the sex articles were always on the list.

Wikipedia is supposed to be this fount of human knowledge. A huge encyclopedia were you can learn about nearly anything. After all of this effort to create it we find out that people would have been 90% happy with a few pages about human reproduction and some current events.

(By the way I later found this site which lists traffic for individual pages and found out the SWI page gets 400-500 hits a month.)

The End of an Era

June 10, 2009

Can’t say I am all that suprised, but Wotmania is closing down.  I guess in some ways it is fitting that the site should shut down since Robert Jordan is dead and the series is almost finished (fingers crossed). It isn’t that I visit it all that often anymore (it was announced that it was shutting down a few months ago, I just found out) but I will still be sad to see it go.  I wasted countless hours pooring over the theory board in college, reading crack brained theories and trying to figure out who killed Asmodeon (I still have money on Lanfear).  I still go there occasionally with a sense of nostalgia and poke around to see if there is anything new. Hopefully Sanderson will be able to give the series a fitting conclusion (1st of 3 final books combing out fall 2009!) and we can all move on.

Old Man

February 10, 2009

As of Friday morning I have been unable to walk standing up straight, I feel like an old man or old Barney Stinson

old-barneyI didn’t do anything dramatic to hurt my back, I just got out of bed leaned over to do something and kablam incredible pain.  It has been slowly getting better but I have spent some quality time flat on my back in bed.  So back pain sucks, although if you really needed a vacation it might not be a bad gig.

Motor City

May 31, 2008

I just knew I could pull it off one more time. One final hurrah before I leave the city, yes my car was broken into for the fifth time. I hadn’t even managed to get all the damage fixed from the last time. Surprisingly I don’t really care that much. Yes, it is money wasted and ya it is a pain but I guess I just expect it now. It is like paying taxes, not a favorite activity but you know there is no way to escape it. I guess I should be happy they haven’t tried to steal the car or steal parts of the car.

The latest craze in Detroit is stealing catalytic converters. Amazingly they do this in the middle of the day on fairly busy streets. This has lead to a number of pairs being arrested but there are always more waiting to take their place. In case there are any enterprising criminals out there this is how it is done. One person walks the street looking for cars with a mirror on the end of golf club, if he spots a catalytic converter they can steal a van pulls up and double parks, someone hops out with an electric saw and cuts off the converter. In the neighborhood where I work two of my co-workers had their converters stolen in the middle of the day, and one of those they tried to steal it, failed, then came back two weeks later and stole it. Also about two blocks away I know two more people whose converters were stolen. Apparently they are being sold for scrap metal, sky rocketing metal prices have made it very lucrative.

Over all car crime has spiked around the university. Between January and April this year 101 cars have been stolen on or immediately around campus, this compares to only 17 over the same period last year.

It isn’t a big mystery why all the businesses, upper, and middle classes have fled the city, if they want to turn Detroit around they need to do something about the crime. And the mayor.


February 23, 2008

Hell hath no fury like a women scored, or insulted, or dishonored, or actually I’m not really sure what I did, but I did get a memento to remember it by.


Well this will be the third post in the last week, am I feeling extra creative? Nope, I am supposed to be working on my thesis. It has been a marathon session all week, the thesis has to be done by Monday so my thesis committee has time to review it before I defend, so here I sit.

I went to a talk by the author of PhD comics a few weeks ago. He says he talks to a lot of grad students that tell him, “I am so stressed, I have so much to do, I am only sleeping like four hours a night!”.  He blithely responds, “Wow, you must be working like 20 hours a day”.  They then inform him, “No, I’ve been reading the news, or surfing the internet, or going out with my friends”.

So needless to say this last week I have read a lot of news, wrote a lot on my blog, and actually started rock climbing again. Deadlines are great.

I write these words in steel, for anything not set in metal cannot be trusted.

January 18, 2008

As every civilized person should know Robert Jordan recently passed away while working on the last book in the Wheel of Time series. I have been reading this series since I was 12. I stuck with it for the last 13 years (over half my life!) through the good times (the first 6 books) and the bad (the last 5) only to have the author drop the ball within six months or so of finishing the entire thing. How is that for irony. Bitter, bitter, irony.

Recently it was announced that Brandon Sanderson was going to finish the last book. After I got over my initial giddiness that Keven J. Anderson was not going to write it (he is responsible for these disasters) I thought it might be a good idea to see who Brandon Sanderson is. I read two of his books and I have to say they were quite good. Definitely good enough that I am not worried about him finishing the Wheel of Time. In fact, if he wanted to go back and re-write a few of the others that would be fine with me.

So now the waiting starts again. Waiting for the third book in the Sanderson trilogy that I just started (curse you Stan!) and still waiting for the last Wheel of Time book. But hey, after 13 years what is another one or two.

A Bitter Pill

July 4, 2007

I shouldn’t say bitter, more like bitter sweet. I have decided to stay in Detroit for one more year and finish all of my class work. This way when I move out to Loma Linda I won’t have to return to Detroit and move across the country three times. There are actually a lot of advantages to staying. First off being the aforementioned moving, also I now have the chance to grow tomatoes in the Wayne State greenhouse, I can continue with our newly developed climbing workout, and all the people I know here will still be here. As I’m sure you can tell I am still convincing myself it is the correct decision.

Appley Inside

October 1, 2006

October, finally you can smell Autumn in the air (well in Detroit at least), and it is time for the annual apple-fest.


As I lugged myself out to the orchard, and saw that I was the only car with one person in it, I realized that these festive sort of things are really only a lot of fun when you aren’t by yourself. In fact everything is more fun in groups. Even eating bad banana bread with no salt in it is more fun with others. As I sit there with the container of salt in one hand and a slice of bread in the other there is no one to share in the comic value of the situation, and it is hard to both insult and defend yourself (although not impossible).


So as I sit here carefully arranging all my apples for a picture I very much look forward to company.