Friday, April 30, 2010


I've officially been dared to wander the halls of the hospital while drinking this and displaying my ID badge. "It's ok, I work here"

I give myself 30 seconds before I'd be taken out by one of the many security guards wandering the halls...

(btw, I'd never do this)

The internet generation takes control

Now if only we could help Jason Chen not get massively sued by Apple...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The somewhat skewed facts of a phD future (rant)

Recently I was discussing the phenomenon of the MRS degree. To be honest, I didn’t get it at first but A) I wasn’t looking at it in writing and B) let’s face it, I can be a little thick sometimes. The MRS degree is for girls like those I met my freshman year of undergrad. Those who showed up to our 8am bio class with perfect hair and makeup. The ones that were in our degree for 1 thing - to become a Mrs Dr Somebody. They scoped out the lecture hall for those med school track boys. I’m sure some of them were there for legitimate reasons, (I saw them in my later organic chem classes and I wanted to take names then. A list comprised of people whom, if they ever became a doctor, I would never be treated by) but there were plenty that were there and gone rather fast. They were there for the Mrs. Degree.

Strangely, the thought popped in my head “That’s a lot of work for an advanced Mrs degree.” I have, on occasion, mused about being a stay at home mom and what that would mean. I know of people that got their phD and then did that. I don’t mean it disrespectfully, but dang, that’s a lot of work. Sometimes that’s just a fact of the job market or how things balance with their husband/significant other…but I’m sure some of it is by choice. I always wondered if stay at home mom was for me but it seems like a waste of a lot of good years with this phD stuff.

On the other hand, I know many students that want to run far, far away from academia when they are finished. And still plenty of others that want to run away from research altogether. A friend that wants to be a midwife, ones that want to do consultant work in something else and then there is me, who has looked seriously into nursing more than once. Who knows what I’ll be when I grow up…

I also have friends with their degrees that are at the manager level of something outside of science. “You have a phD? Well, that means you can learn things, right? Manager you are.” Or something like that.

There is a huge variety of non-traditional careers in science. So many no one can keep track of them all. And the worst is that no one can tell you how to find them. After several seminars, I haven’t found a good resource. If you are a chemist go to ACS - they have career counseling for chemists. Sadly, there isn’t one for biologists - yet. Maybe I’ll found that when I grow up. Or be a consultant for TV shows like House or CSI or movies that fail at science so they won't suck so much at science...
Mission to Mars

Non-Traditional Careers in Science
An old Nature Article describes associations with the legal profession, scientific writing/editing and even space research. Wee.

The biggest hit in Google under the search Non-traditional Careers in Science is a book so titled….from 1998. There is a book for Chemists from 2006 Nontraditional Careers for Chemists: New Formulas in Chemistry Chemistry might have something but the author didn’t have much for us biologists (I haven’t read her book but I did hear her speak). She did have one thing to say - if you can dream it up, you can probably find it. Well, that’s just peachy - and says nothing about a job that will survive more than a year or be able to support you, let alone a family. Yeah….

Optimism isn’t my strong suit today…

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I've been down and out with a sinus infection (sinusitus). Lots of coughing and not sleeping and all that suckiness. But I couldn't help but literally laughing out loud when I was prescribed Tussin.

Musing on my nickname

My name is mispronounced on a daily basis so I've taken to being called KK. I like to make it easy on people delivering to my house or places where they will call your name like Panera and tell them KK.

I was just really entertained yesterday by the girl at Noodles and Co. I got my food and on my receipt was KayKay. I like it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

William Shatner is watching you...

This is much more effective on a white background...hmm....

The somewhat skewed facts of phD life...(rant)

Given my previous post, I found this interesting.

More women than men get advanced degrees
By Stephanie Chen, CNN
April 20, 2010 1:23 p.m. EDT
(CNN) -- As a growing number of young women obtain advanced degrees, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts more women than men are expected to become doctors, lawyers and professors.

Nearly six out of ten adults holding advanced degrees between the ages of 25 and 29 are women, the census reported Tuesday.

So we ALMOST represent 1/2 of those with advanced degrees between 25 and 29 now. Somehow this doesn't make me think we're taking advanced degrees by storm...

The trend of more women holding advanced degrees than men is occurring among the white, Hispanic and black populations but not the Asian population.

The study also revealed the gap between men and women older than 25 holding advanced degrees has shrunk since 2000.

About 10 percent of women over 25 possessed an advanced degree compared to about 7 percent of women in 2000. In comparison, the growth for men over 25 holding advance degrees was much slower, the Census report shows. About 11 percent of men over 25 had an advanced degree compared to 10 percent in 2000.

The study also revealed an advanced degree can result in bigger earnings. Advanced degree holders earned an average of $83,144 in 2008. In contrast, people with a bachelors degree earned about $58,613 that same year.

First of all - a more advanced degree (master's or doctorate) = more money. Really?? Cuz that's surprising?

The national average with a bachelor's is $58k?? Are they only counting the employed? This also relates back to my previous post. The figures were from a study released in 2006 (so the previous years) but in 4 years, the average for a bachelors in Science, Engineering and health degrees went from $39k to $58k? Really?? That's awesome, if it's true, but that number seems inflated. I'd assume Scientists and Engineers would be among the top earners next to business degrees.

Final part of my rant. Women are coming up in the ranks - but we still make less money. When do they plan on fixing that?

Monday, April 19, 2010

The facts of a phD life, part 1 (salary and employment)

So why do we do a phD? Here's one reason:

But there are a lot of reasons. What I'm learning is that pay scale is not one of them.

While I'm not saying the comic is false, it represents all phD programs and let's face it, Bio ones do pay better.

Actual numbers from the National Science Foundation
Male vs female stats also annoy me.

Median salary for scientists...Citation (see tables H13-H15)

in HEALTH with
a bachelors
- female: 45,000
- male: 48,000
a masters
- female: 55,000
- male: 68,000
a doctorate
- female: 58,000
- male: 60,000

in BIOLOGY with
a bachelors
- female: 30,000
- male: 35,000
a masters
- female: 45,000
- male: 47,000
a doctorate
- female: 40,000
- male: 41,000

So a man with a masters in health sciences averages $8k more than a woman with a doctorate and it pays less to about the same to get a doctorate vs a masters. Oof.

All this data is from their Science and Engineering demographic information.
Women as a percentage of S&E doctoral degrees, full-time full professors, and full-time tenure-track faculty: 2006

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The iPhone...

Special thanks to iA
and The Onion

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why you don't let weeds grow in your yard...

I pulled this out of my yard today. I still need to figure out how to get out the rest of the root. I have a 8' deep hole in my front yard and the darn thing is still entrenched.

For a little size perspective.

Sometimes they've lived so long, they will never die.

But I will say the awesome Irises and Lilac bush make the yard totally worth it. :)

I cut a few fresh lilac stems for the house - it is AWESOME.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Beauty and the Beast

Once again being released on DVD. Beauty and the Beast. It's out of the vault this fall!!! Squee!!!!

But this time, it's the Diamond Edition.
DVD+BluRay pack released Oct 5th.
DVD only released Nov 23rd.