Monthly Archives: December 2009

The humans are dead

Year 2012, due to global environmental destruction, mankind has self destructed, leaving only robots to rule the world… Remaining robots now explore what is left of the now desolate earth…

The MCMC robot terrorizes tree space in search of high posterior densities.

MCMC robot, artist rendition.

To play with an MCMC educational exploratory program, visit Dr. Paul Lewis’ website and look for “MC robot”. It’s quite fun, we used it in my phylogenetics class this past semester.

On a robotic note.

Check out a Flight of the Conchords stand up show where they sing about a world where robots take over.


Ho ho, snow snow

Still pretty much snowed in…

The grad student orphan lunch was assumed by all to be a no-go. But, I was so bored from being snowed in at home all day yesterday and otherwise today so I ventured out with another fellow student. I wouldn’t have driven today otherwise. If I get stuck I need an accomplice to push. Luckily no stuck-age.

The lunch was awesome. Lots of great food. Thanks!

When I pulled from lunch a lady, not knowing what she was doing, got nervous because she couldn’t drive up her street, turned into the front lawn-ish area of my apartment to park??? I asked if she needed help but I think she was nervous talking to a stranger. She called her husband or something.

I was watching a while, having a cup of coffee and asked again. I pushed a little but she was putting on so much gas that she was spinning the tires, making the situation worse as she dug herself in.

Eventually she got out but then didn’t cut the wheel enough and backed in the bank behind on the other side of the street this time. By now another guy and his lady friend had pulled into my apartment and joined the cause.

Then this local in his pickup asked in a demanding fashion, whether we needed help, saying that a toing would caost big bucks but he could do it for cheep. We said no thanks, but he was persistant. We ignored. Eventually we got her to get us to drive instead and I got her to agree to park in our lot – no one checks, and plus it’s the holidays.

It turned out that she just got off her two day shift at the hospital. She probably didn’t even get a chance to avoid the snow.

What’s up with people taking advantage of snow obstructed people, trying to make quick tax free cash? What ever happened to “do a good turn daily” or “help thy neighbor”? I guess this is what happens with pure capitalism America.

To be a grad student

Food essentials in grad school are of course Tabasco and soy sauce.

These two help bring a false  sense that your inappropriate meal is actually food.

Even your staple doesn’t stand a chance.

Your staple is affordable with  your income.

Although in reality you don’t have so many.

Staying awake is essential.

Or more accurately, “you can sleep when you’re done with that thesis”…

But as time goes by you may need alternative motivation.

In reality, you need something to keep you awake as that pot brews.


On a more serious note.

Lawrence got completely snowed in today. I’ve never even seen a snow storm this intense in Ithaca. At least it’s not as cold though. The snow is fine and dry. Man I really want to go skiing.

Yea people were driving around but there was no way I was going to. Plus, in this weather it would have taken me close to an hour to walk to my lab.

Damn, I have a specimen still in KOH. I really hope that it doesn’t melt away…

Tomorrow is a Christmas lunch for the grad school orphans. I’m excited.

I woke up to thunder and lightning, then this turned into a torrential down pour/hail – I decided not to leave the house until that ended. The blue thunder followed. On my way into my lab today I saw the aftermath of the sirens. There was a state trooper sweeping glass; looked like it was bad. That’s what you get for driving around in rain/hail so hard there’s no visibility – I’m glad I staied in.

I was excited about the dynamic weather and shared my excitement with others in lab, but no one was excited. Apparently it happens at least once ever winter. A winter thunder storm every year?! Kansas weather is weird. I was then pointed to the roof of a car and was told that if I live in Kansas long enough, the roof of my car would also get all dented up.

No wonder they scripted Dorothy in Kansas. I fear for my life… although flying-monkey might taste pretty good.

Keeping it real, a myrmecoid Paederinae, Mimophites. Uncommon in collections, published host records are with Labidus but I found one specimen that was mounted with a Neivamyrmex. Seevers lists about nine species. KU has a single representative of three undetermined species. I’m currently amassing literature to tack a stab.

Mimophites species

Some people like cupcakes better. I for one care less for them.

Back from ESA

I’m back from ESA.

Staphylinids had a great representation this year. Preliminary molecular results were presented from the Staphylinini project, and also results from an Athetini molecular phylogeny. Staphylinines seem to be a really old group.

I was slightly insomniac during ESA. I would wake up at 4 AM and couldn’t fall back to sleep. It didn’t help that talks began at 7 AM this meeting. I spent yesterday and today sleeping in and recovering. I’ll be back full force starting tomorrow.

I’m starting up a molecular study myself. Right now I’m trying to gather material, and also collecting material myself. I’m doing some dissections right now to try and figure out appropriate ingroup taxa – although I do have a pretty good idea of what I’ll need.