Archive for: October, 2012
"Mommy, if you wanted 100 babies you would have to rent them. And then the cats would take care of them while you were at work."
"Why didn't this book get any surprises?" (In reference to a book not having any book prize stickers on the cover)
"My cut hurts the same distance as my flu shot"
"Daddy, can we get princess gum? My friend told me about it and it's supposed to be good and when you eat it tastes like princesses in your mouth!"
"Is the plunger still here?" (In reference to the plumber)
"My tummy hurts. Can I have some pesto?" (Looking for Pepto)
"You do realize that the sky is blue for a reason, right daddy?"
"If we ever go to Disney World I will only hug the characters with skin!"
"We're going to plant apple seed at school and see what happens. I hope we grow oranges and bananas!"
If you suffered through the US presidential candidate debate last night, you got treated to a surprisingly timid President and a slick liar being "moderated" by a senior citizen who seemed like he actually thought he was in a bus station trying to ask for directions. It was a waste of time much of the country could have been getting some sleep. Jim Lehrer was, so why weren't we?
Last night's format was not only flawed, it was virtually unwatchable. So how would you fix it? I would implement the following:
1) Fact check ticker at the bottom of the screen for the TV audience. It would be too distracting to have it involved in the debate in some way, but since virtually everyone watching was doing so on TV, it would have been very informative.
2) Limit responses in length and enforce those limits. Lehrer's moderating was so toothless last night I thought I had tuned in to ABC's new reality show "Senior Citizens Gum Food". Either have the mics turn off at the end of time, or subtract time over from the next response. But in order to do that, you need....
3) A moderator who moderates. Self explanatory.
4) Better questions. Jim's "questions from the internet* and other sources" were not only predictable, but often left unanswered. An actual moderator might have helped, but let's get some real questions. How about giving each candidate the ability to ask two questions of their opponent and hold the candidates to answering them? We still don't have any idea where Romney actually stands on ANY issue, which might be a nice outcome of these debates.
What are some of the ways (excluding Thunderdome format) that you might improve these debates?
*As I tweeted this morning, Jim Lehrer was shocked to find out today that "the internet" is not the pet name for PBS's intercom system.
Inside Higher Ed has chronicled a kerfuffle in the English Professoriate with regard to live blogging or tweeting conferences. The debate began when @eetempleton tweeted "It's presumptive to assume that we should share other people's work w/o asking"
Did I mention this was at a conference?
This touched off a conversation (lamely called "twittergate". Can we stop adding "gate" to stupid shit please? Seriously, these are ENGLISH profs and that's what they came up with? FFS.) that had me holding my sides.
Maybe conferences in English are different from science ones, but when I present something I want as MUCH EXPOSURE AS I CAN GET. Is there anyone out there presenting lab secrets at conferences, hoping for a small audience? WTF?
But here's the problem: You can't control what people write on the internet. Did they regulate phones and personal conversations in this field prior to Twitter? Sorry English profs, but welcome to the 21st century. It turns out that there is still the freedom to write what you want on the internet.
Instead of fearing that someone outside of your direct "in room" audience is going to hear what you have to say, embrace it. I consider it both fun and a bit flattering when someone bothers to post something about a talk I gave. It means that people are actually interested in what you have to say. If you're worried about the Scooping Boogeyman, then tailor your talk accordingly. But unless your goal is to have the smallest impact possible, you would have to have you head up your posterior to fear people actually discussing your work with as wide an audience as possible.
Wife-like Substance and I have been trying, with varying degrees of success, to carve out some time to get some exercise over the last few months. For a while we had a good stretch going, but travel over the summer kind of messed everything up. The other problem: we were waking up before 5:00am to fit it in. After a while that just starts to hurt.
We've been attempting to get back into that schedule for a few weeks now, but with darker mornings and more hectic days, that "off" button on the alarm is damn easy to find at o'-dark-thirty. So we need a new plan, but when the hell do we wedge an hour of new activity into our lives? As it stands, our schedule looks roughly like this:
5:30 wake up and get things ready for the day (on weekends, the kids wake up now too)
6:30 Wake up the kids (magically, only on weekdays) and eat family breakfast
7:30 drop kids off at day care and get into work.
4:30 head home to make dinner
6:30 bath time
7-7:30 kids in bed
7:30-8:30 prep lunches and dinner for the next day or eat our own dinner (if we fed the kids separately)
8:30 - 10:00 mixture of next day prep, finish up work that needs doing, or actually getting to talk.
10:00-11:00 hopefully make it to bed sometime in this hour.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I've tried the mid-day run and that always seems to lose to more pressing commitments. I've tried dropping the kids off and going then, but that means skipping breakfast and just gets tough to juggle. Night time is kids-swim-in-the-crazy-pool in our house, which seems like a bad time to take off and leave one parent to play life-guard.
However, people do make it work for them, so I'm looking for suggestions. How do you make time for physical activity beyond baby-chasing?