Wednesday, May 12, 2010

As deep as any ocean, as sweet as any harmony.


I am a big fan of science. Big fan. I was all up in 3-2-1 Contact back in the day, except for when they had all those French people on there. French people aren't sciencey, everyone knows that. (Oh, PBS, you goose! Humor is your strongest asset. I'll bet you just sit around all day and listen to Weird Al; that's why you're such a honk at dinner parties.)

People here in the colonies usually only watch the Public Broadcasting Service because of Rick Steves' travel tips, Ken Burns self-congratulatory documentaries on the awesomeness of our country, and Neil deGrasse Tyson's knack of finding wonder in our universal insignificance. Right now I would like to thank all of my employers who paid me too little: without your efforts to safeguard my poverty, I could have afforded cable, and who picks PBS over HBO?

It's easy to ignore programming like that with so much "comedy" and "satire" shoving its nose in your junk and demanding to be stroked. The earnest and educational get fucked over.

The same is true for blogs. And that is unfortunate, because then you miss out on people like Julie.

Julie is a Scientific Chick who received her PhD in Neuroscience just two weeks ago (work it). Her blog is driven by research and science, mostly consisting of regurgitated studies decoded for greenhorns. It's very impersonal, although she does offer her interpretations at the end of each entry, but overall I found it fascinating.

She's colloquial in tone and well-acquainted with her subject matter, she questions the studies appropriately and asks for the readers questions in return. This blog is thoughtful and thorough. I didn't skip an entry, even though I disagree with some of her assessments. For example, I think this shows that the subjects are swayed by the opinions of others, which affirms what I've always felt: it takes just one opinion to influence your perception before conceiving your own, so ignore other opinions until you've formed one yourself. Hypocrisy owns me.

But the most important thing this tells me is that I want to start a dialogue with her, and that, friends, is happy territory. Some of the entries didn't grab me so much, but that's more of a matter of personal interest, like choosing articles in National Geographic.

A clean, readable template that's easy to navigate is hard to find. Because of the nature of your blog, Julie, think about trimming your labels down to more specific topics rather than references, but definitely keep them in your sidebar.

I feel like such a pushover, seriously, because I really want to fucking tear someone apart, but I just cannot, here. I love her. I don't fucking love her, but I love her just the same.


13 comments:

  1. I've only read a handful of posts and I really like her already. But keep in mind, this is the kind of shit that really puts the lead in my pencil. One of my favorite radio programs is RadioLab - which I can only catch in podcast form.

    This reads like a blog form of RadioLab. I learn from this, but I learn because I want to learn. Because it's fun to learn this way.

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  2. But her archive navigation sucks nards. I hate blogs that only offer up a single link to "Older posts."

    When I go to a grocery store, I want to know exactly which aisle the peanut butter is in. I don't want to wander up and down all of the aisles till I find it.

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  3. She's got her archives on the sidebar, and that's enough for me.

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  4. But I like, love her. I just want to pick what she writes about.

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  5. She blinded me with science, beep boop boop boop...

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  6. I love it when writer's can make seemingly difficult scientific concepts understandable and break down the research and methods in a way that makes not only the conclusions and debates interesting, by but the actual methods themselves. This was good reading and I'll add it to my science reader. For relatively complex material, she made it very clear, entertaining and salient, I wish I had had science teachers like her, I might have discovered my love of science much earlier. Great blog.

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  7. Well, shit, Shiney-times -- you're right. I totally missed the archives in the sidebar before. Maybe because it's buried in and amongst all of that other crap in her sidebar.

    I hereby remove that earlier "sucks nards" comment.

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  8. Neil deGrasse is a fuckin rockstar.

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  9. I hated science in school and I hate it now. Also, I hate Rick Steves and his cheap-ass travel tips.

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  10. It's not her, it's me. The only classroom that had air condition in my high school was the physics lab, and my physics teacher told me I was wasting the air condition. Maybe the left side of my brain is just not developed. Or maybe it's the other side? The side in charge of enjoying facts.

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  11. Man, Rick Steves is the shit. I mean, if it weren't for him I would never realize how much I fucking loathe fast-paced travel.

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  12. She's better than any paid science reporter that I know of.

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Grow a pair.