"This is my brain, and I live in it." – Tim Minchin

A scientist was asked to review a new paper. You’ll never guess what happened next!


Violent metaphors

_KCM4407(Apologies for the egregious clickbaity title.)

A professor I know was recently sent a manuscript to review from PLOS ONE. Nothing unusual in that…except that it was his own paper. After briefly debating how to respond, he accepted the invitation to review the paper, and submitted the following review:

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Let us have lettuce

He is making my salad.

I hate salad but am recently feeling that perhaps I could stand to have a bit more greenery in my life. For my health and an elevated sense of virtue. I placed my order and he is making it to order.

This time it occurs to me to ask, “Does working here make you eat healthier?”

“No. In fact the opposite, I eat a lot of pizza,” he replies. He has only recently started this job and has not yet been inspired to eat what he makes.

This makes me feel better.

If I made salad for a living I would eat nothing but french fries.

On the commute

Commuting to work by subway means that you do not have to think about where you’re going.

You just have to keep track of the stops and transfers.

That’s all.

Although, even that can have its challenges.  I had to stop reading fiction on the train.  I would get engrossed and look up pages later having missed my stop or a transfer by several stations.

Stops.  Transfers.  And your fellow passengers – try not to piss too many people off during your commute. (Some of us can muster a fierce and  eloquent fury in the morning, even hungover, sleep deprived and lacking coffee.  Or perhaps because.)

All of that said, at any given time but particularly in the morning, riding the subway frees a body up to do other things.  You can’t do everything but you could

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Job Titles

I am chatting with the salad artiste behind the counter.  He asks me what I do for a living and who I work for.  He is surprised to find that I am not a college student.  As I describe what I do and where I work, his coworker walks up with arms folded and interjects, “She’s telling you that she’s the Big Dog.”

I pause and start laughing.  Damn straight.

This might become my standard reply when people ask me what do for a living.

“I’m the Big Dog.  You can ask the Salad Guy.”

Name that songwriter

I don’t listen to enough music these days.  Specifically, I don’t listen to enough music that is new to me.  In an effort to remedy this, I spent a day listening to NPR’s “All Songs 24/7” from All Songs Considered.

At first I worried that I would like everything.  But then started to notice some tracks over others.  And then fell down a song rabbit hole or two.

Case in point, Lydia Loveless has released a cover of the Ke$ha song “Blind” as a B-side on a 7″ single.

Do you know what a 7″ is?  Once upon a time music was pressed onto vinyl disks called, “records.”  You could buy a big record with many songs on it or a smaller disc with just two songs on it.  The hit was on the “A” side and there was a song on the other side – the “B” side.  “B” sides were more of a crapshoot.  Sometimes they were as good or better than the “A” side.  Other times, well not so much.  But I digress.

Lydia Loveless has put out a single with a gem of a “B” side cover.

She sings a devastating, heartbreaking female vocal in a style that has fallen out of fashion for a long time, even in country circles.  Which is a shame since country music used to be a great place to be a gal with a big, strong, steady voice who can carry a tune.  And I mean CARRY it, without excessive ornamentation.  She gets it done and with a mix of vocal strength and interpretive fragility and emotion.

I had not heard the Ke$ha version.  It sounded like a legit country song to me.

Which sounds a lot different but somehow familiar.  By familiar, I don’t mean the way it resembled Lydia’s version. I mean that the verses of the song as Ke$ha sings them sounded like something else that I had heard before.

I couldn’t put my finger until I got up from my desk and realized that I was humming the Katy Perry song, “I Kissed a Girl.”

The verses for both songs kick off with the repetition of one note and then crack open into a weave of notes under and above it with a return.  It’s harder to hear in the Loveless version as she ads a country warble to the endeavor.

Checking the song writing credits, Lukasz Gottwald (Dr. Luke) co-wrote of both of them.  He is also a co-producer along with Benny Blanco.  Having articulated the verse format in this way, the chorus “Teenage Dream” came to mind:

It’s such a small motif.  Perhaps not even enough to be considered a familial resemblance.   Plus, Gottwald and Blanco were not the only two people involved with each of these songs they might not have worked on that part of aspect of these songs.

But all of that said, I am now curious to listen to other Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco songs (and Max Martin songs) to see if it crops up anywhere else.

In the same way that Bruno Mars sings the word “Yeah,” in so many of his songs (to great (at times sublime) effect I might add.)

All of that said, I should probably also check out the “A” side of Loveless’ single.

The Last Word

Overall this movie is terrible.  TERRIBLE.  But it does have two amazing things going for it.  1. Ray Romano.  Ray Romano is so, so good in this movie.  2. It also has what I would consider a genuinely, legitimately happy ending.  A no bullshit, no cheese happy ending for the skeptical, the disillusioned and the cranky at heart.

If you could edit this movie down to all the scenes with Ray and the ending, it would be breathtaking.  Instead you have to suffer through a lot of lousy, stilted, phony shit to get what is amazing.  It’s a lot like life, in that way.

A great editor

Makes you a much better writer.

Your life

I said “You need to live! You are young. You need to experience your life without trying to make a product out of it.”

Penny Arcade

A secret to life?

“The best thing that can happen to a human being is to find a problem, to fall in love with that problem, and to live trying to solve that problem, unless another problem even more lovable appears.”

– Karl Popper

I love Adventure Time

Jake: Finn!! Don’t do anything stupid!!

Finn: I can’t help it, man!! I’m all about stupid!! YAAAAAAH!!!