…I’m-a end up stuck in school. (That’s not what I wanna do, Jeremy.)
Good news, dear readers: your fearless blog-star Miriam has been spotted on the surfside Scripps campus. I imagine she’s currently drafting her “never again on my watch” speech to assure the traumatized in the audience that I’ll not be allowed to make dumb music, football, and psychology references under the auspices of TOG ever again. (Total disappointment was my original goal, but I could certainly be more parsimoniously disappointing and save everyone the hassle.)
If you’re still bummed about dead coral babies and me getting electrocuted, well, thank you, and I’m sorry, and I have good news for you. The sun came back out today, so I can blog you goodbye on a positive note. True, my explanatory variable—one day of sunshine—sounds kind of trivial, but it’s all about shifting baselines. We’re so serotonin-addicted here in San Diego that when a cloud rolls in, instantaneous Seasonal Affective Disorder has us all muttering miserably like Milton in Office Space. Imagine what a whole month of May Gray does to our sunny disposition. You can refer to Figure 1 (originally from here) to see how treacherous it really gets this time of year. (This would easily be the funniest graph I’ve seen all year if it weren’t for this fad.)
So things are looking better (10% sunnier, to be precise-ish). In other words, “I’ve got 99 problems, but only 59% of possible sunshine hours isn’t one.” You just have to read enough science news on a sunny enough day—and finish worrying about the deleterious effects of everything in the world on every one of your body parts—to uncover things that you don’t have to worry about. Here they are, distilled from this week’s science news, in no particular order but in Jeopardy format:
Q: It’s a regular headache, but you don’t get one, because you’re not eligible.
A: What is space headache?
Q: You don’t have to spend your entire life doing this, and acting like a total poser, because you’re not a tropical wasp.
A: What is fighting inside a fig?
Q: Luckily, the reproductive strategy of this newly-discovered species of palm is very unlike yours.
A: What is self-destructing tree?
Q: You narrowly escaped having to do this for a living, by virtue of being just 1% different genomically from chimpanzees.
A: What is trading tokens for cucumbers?
There you have it. Being a scientist is way better than trading tokens for cucumbers (at least when it’s not foggy). Now I just have to sit in my office near the squirrels to finish up a quick letter to my committee, and, um… also my dissertation. I heard once you turn it in, they throw you a party and give you food. And I heard there would be enough cake for everyone.
I’m up outta here/This has been a Kristen service announcement. ▮