Archive for the 'philosophy' Tag

Cutting Back

So, I’ve been changing my eating habits lately, mostly in the hopes of getting a little healthier. I think my strategy has been working– I’ve lost 10 lbs since Thanksgiving. Moreover, I have more energy and feel better. My secret? Five little changes (motivated by many sources, but especially the works of Michael Pollan):

  • Meat only once or twice a week, and that only 1/4 lb portions. I split a macadamia crusted mahi mahi fillet a few days ago– when you haven’t had meat in a week, even a few bites tastes AMAZING.
  • Eat mostly salads / veggie stews / veggie stirfrys. Cook most food from fresh vegetables.
  • Try to not eat anything with: high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, corn syrup, modified corn product, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, hydrogenates vegetable shortening, etc. This cuts out most junk food, as well as almost any processed food from the grocery store… there’s a few things in the organic isle at Albertson’s or in Whole Foods, but even there you have to watch for them.
  • Avoid “hidden” calories from beverages. I mostly drink water or herbal tea (no milk, no sugar). When you feel hungry, drink a glass of water/tea and wait 15 minutes. If you still feel hungry, then eat food. Otherwise, you were just thirsty.
  • (something I’m still getting used to) Order smaller portions at restaurants, and split when possible. Don’t get appetizers. Order from the healthy / reduced calorie menu when possible.

Those 5 guidelines, and I feel healthier than I have in years!

The Future of Scientific Publishing

Just read a fascinating (if lengthy) essay on disruptive technology and the future of scientific publishing. Well worth the read!

Barely Literate

Colin Marshall, a friend of mine who is a prolific interviewer, reviewer, and podcaster, recently invited me to participate in a podcast bookclub experiment he’s starting called Barely Literate. Colin and myself, as well as Mike Violette and Jim Dempsey, recently completed a podcast on Robert Pirsig’s classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (also available as the Barely Literate podcast on iTunes).

I feel like we meandered a bit; not wanting to deal with the philosophical issues raised by comparison of Pirsig to other contemporary thinkers. Nevertheless, it’s kind of neat. Give it a listen sometime!

The Housing Crunch

I don’t profess to be an expert, or even an amateur, at Economics. But the bailout seemed (and seems) like a poor idea to me. Mostly, this is because it (a) seems to let the financiers who made terrible decisions get away without repercussions and (b) it seems to be treating a symptom rather than the cause. The cause, in my opinion, is an American way of life that’s out of touch with our economic realities. Especially in the housing market. I clipped a nice comment from Slashdot regarding the housing crunch, read on to see it. I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on the bailout/economy!

The Weekly Ebb of Time

Ever have a moment that really grabs you and makes you notice that time either seems incredibly slow or incredibly fast? I was just talking to my friend CloneBot, and I noted that I’d probably be out of graduate school in 90 weeks or so. Only 90 weeks! So many things in my life occur on a “once per week” basis– and those weeks pass so, so quickly. Read on for more analysis of my upcoming weeks. (continued)

How Would You Revise the General Curriculum?

Recently at work, I’ve had a lot of data files to go through– The instrument I’m using spits out data as a series of (hundreds of…) text files, each with about eighty pieces of data. Rather than go through that by hand, I sat down and wrote a little script to collate the data for me into one, organized file. A co-worker was amazed by this– which got me thinking: There’s only going to be more computers in the future. Should at least a little bit of programming be a required subject in school? What else could be revised?

Liberty Boxes

Saw a great signature quotation today:
There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order. Starting now.

Random thought from a Cafe

At the Courtyard Cafe today, I noticed a small plaque which reads, “We have the right to refuse service to anyone”. What a strange thought! It’s as if they were trying to create a new “write” for themselves out of thin air– I can’t put up a plaque saying, “I have the right to smack people around” and expect to get away with it. Just saying something doesn’t make it factual or true.

Even though they somehow manufactured that statement and went with it, it’s still blatantly false. If they used their “right” to refuse service to, say, all black people who came in to the cafe… Well, I don’t think that policy would fly for very long. Guess they aren’t right about their right. I recall some similar thoughts on signs in the Illuminatus trilogy, I may have to pull it out tonight and re-read.

Four to Six Hour Workdays… the key to happiness?

That’s what this article claims, in any case. I tend to agree, being the meditative and leisurely guy that I am. What I found most interesting, though, was the throwaway line about the economist Keynes. Apparantly, he recommended shorter workdays as well… I may need to track this down.

No real story here, other than a mildly interesting article and my obsessive-compulsive nature.

I’m in the wrong field or I’m sane or both

A while back, a co-worker of mine posted an editorial they had clipped from Nature, which was the advice of an experienced researcher to potential graduate students in the sciences titled “What makes a good graduate student?”.

Now, either I’m a textbook example of a piss-poor graduate student, or the author is an elitist crazy and I’m sane. Read on to see snippets of her “advice”, and my incredulity and disbelief. (continued)


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My first first-author paper!

Just wanted to share that my first first-author paper is now online! In the journal Stem Cells and Development, here’s my paper on “Roles of Integrins in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Growth on Matrigel and Vitronectin.”

The Future of Scientific Publishing

Just read a fascinating (if lengthy) essay on disruptive technology and the future of scientific publishing. Well worth the read!


Just wanted to share’s Visual Guide to Deflation, which is quite explanatory.

All Things Stem Cell

Hey all Paradoxdruid readers! I recently started up a blog on stem cells that I’d love you all to take a look at:

Barely Literate: The Fermata

I participated in another Barely literate book review podcast, this time on Nicholson Baker’s “The Fermata”. Give it a listen!

Time for Change

Obama has outlined a strategy for America, in great depth. Read all about!

Free Rice

Okay, I’ll admit that it’s entirely possible that I am the last person to learn about this website*, but it’s really addictive. 


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