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birchbarkcanoe




Hello :) I like classical music and maps.


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birchbarkcanoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: American Green

One thing I love about Vermont is that most people with land actually use it. Despite our wicked short growing season, almost everyone has a vegetable garden. I've noticed that people are so much more in touch with their land and what grows in their yard than where I grew up in Mass, and manicured lawns are the sure sign of Connecticut transplant retirees.

Also, those bullet-pointed facts in the middle there. UGH. The manicured lawn requirements make me so angry, can we all adjust to a world where native species and healthy wetlands hold the beauty standard over lawns?

I tried to be open-minded and try as much local cuisine as possible when I was in France last semester... foie gras did not make the list because I can't get over that process.

I miss 90% of the rest of French cuisine though!

Oof, the old boiled dinner. Blows my mind that this is such a "classic" when it tastes so much better if you just roast the same ingredients.

Also Necco wafers. Who thought sidewalk chalk would make good candy??

    I know plenty of people who feel frustrated by Spotify's handling of classical music, but most of them just embrace the suck and construct personalized playlists of renditions they enjoy (or, in some cases, renditions they can tolerate).

Guilty! Spotify also makes it really easy to share playlists; that "social media" aspect is good for sharing recommendations of favorite recordings, etc. with friends. I also totally agree that that separation would be a huge loss for everyone, even though my spotify statistics tell me that roughly 92% of my listening is classical and I might fall into that category of people who seriously consider a new streaming service.

Ooh, both of the towns that I have called home are represented by actors that starred in the Bourne Identity!

Weird geographical patterns aside though, I've always loved the visualizations from The Pudding. There always seems to be a good balance of functional interaction to actual data presentation. In this one I particularly like how the magnitude of the dot is related to the famous-ness of the person instead of the population of the city (see Ernest Hemmingway from Ketchum, ID), even though they're often correlated. It makes sense, but some data-visualizers these days.... wags finger

birchbarkcanoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 29, 2019

I have a little over a week left in France, where I've been studying (and more recently research-interning) since January. I've got a big research report due the day I fly home that has been preventing sentimental reflection time, but I have noticed one thing: I don't have very many photos of the city I've been living in! My camera roll has oodles of photos from spring break, but what about the big plaza here in town, the pretty timbered houses on the way to the bus stop, or the giant-ass medieval cathedral literally 150m from my door? I don't have pictures of them! This is a problem that I am working on resolving before I leave because I want to make a tacky sentimental photo album with my mum when I get home.

So my question: how often do you guys photograph your own neighborhood? Could you show someone your daily life through photos? When I got here, I had similar struggles in the opposite direction, trying to find pictures of my everyday life in the US to show my new friends. I'm sure your every day surroundings are beautiful in some way, but do you have a record of that? Do you want a record of that?

    I would definitely do grad school again if I was offered the choice

Wow this is so good to hear. Maybe the more vocal side of the internet is the side that regrets it. I think my dream is a teaching-focused position, though I could also see myself in a non-university research setting or, well, I don't know. As you said, it's an intellectual curiosity type of thing.

That is really great advice, thank you! I've had some professors mention that as a sort of aside when talking about grad school, and I'm starting to reach the conclusion that the people that are miserable are the people that don't take care of themselves. Anyway, thanks for your insight!!

As weird as it sounds, one of the main reasons I check out books from the campus library is because it's the most convenient way to access them. I do a quick search of the titles in my professor's course bibliography (shout out to great catalog search technology), go to the library, and find the books! Of course, journal articles are a different story and they are definitely more accessible online.

On the other hand, I love the collaborative workspace concept, but the way my school tackled that was by compressing the stacks with the sliding bookshelf mechanism where you press the button to open up the corridor so we got more study space and we keep the books. Lucky us, I guess!?

On a separate note,

    “We learn to read books and articles quickly, under pressure, for the key points or for what we can use. But we write as if a learned gentleman of leisure sits in a paneled study, savoring every word.”

Haaah. Yes, we need to have a real conversation about concision in academic texts. But is this a modern attention span problem or a long-standing issue where researchers just want to optimize their reading time? I have a feeling it's the latter.

I'm a bright-eyed bushy-tailed undergrad about to start the PhD program application process, and I ask myself more and more often if the system is too broken to even be worth a shot. I alternate between "it's different in science because the degree is still useful outside academia" and "My dream is looking like an awful, awful decision."

    We are more than cogs in a machine: together, we are the machine. It matters how we treat each other. It matters which journals and publishers we choose to publish our ideas with. It matters which conferences we choose to attend. It matters who we collaborate and constitute panels with. And it matters how we talk about our working practices. Being overloaded is not a badge of honour

The problem that I see related to this is that some academics (read: the old tenured dudes who can do whatever they want) don't really see the problems in the system because that very system has led them to a comfortable success. They're blind to the burnouts and the crazy job market etc. She does mention, however:

    ... the current system is not working for everyone – and not just early career researchers: even senior academics are “choosing” to leave academia. And when the system isn’t working for everyone, it is working for no one.

and I don't know if I find that more alarming or what.

birchbarkcanoe  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 15, 2019

I'm so intrigued by your sinking tree! I guess that could happen if there was a significant change in the riverbank. Sometimes in areas affected by earthquakes there are a bunch of petrified trees that somehow remain standing despite drastic changes in the surface they're growing on (on the order of meters).

Maybe it was once perched on a big rock that somehow got dislodged? Ice is a pretty powerful force when it comes to changes in the ground.

In any case, yay for the first swim of summer!! Everything's so green and bright now, I can't wait for my local water bodies to be warm enough for that first swim!

Oooh a good re-hash indeed! I'm so intrigued by the wolf population increase - wolves play a "keystone species" role in so many ecosystems, and a seven-fold increase is pretty significant! I guess the whole ecosystem is on that weird tipping point of "is this a big malformed population or are they reproducing quickly enough to avoid it?"

Also those mapping studies sound FASCINATING. I know their goal is dosage, but I wonder how their general behavioral patterns could be different from, say, a "healthy" wolf-population GPS-track study. (or pick your favorite critter)

And uh...

    climate change-induced radioactive wildfires.

...what fun things we've brought upon our planet. One of the presentations I gave fairly frequently in my environmental ed job was about the ecological changes brought about by fire, and fires never cease to amaze me (from an ecological perspective, not a pyromaniac). I wonder that area was already prone to fire beforehand or if that's yet another repercussion of the radiation? That throws an entirely new variable out there in terms of how the ecosystem maintains itself. Wicked cool!

    It would be nice if there was a perception of value for the longevity of what we own and wear.

This absolutely. So many people want to immediately jump to the cheapest solution, but the cheapest right now might not be the cheapest when it doesn't last for long. By "cheap" here I mean not only money, but labor/materials/time too. We have got to start thinking about longevity in everything that we consume, and realize that the "cheapest" option in the long run isn't always just the lowest price tag.

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