Way to go Nell

The woman in this video makes a very valid point and she tells it like it is. Asking, "What makes the Vatican holy?" Should the children abused by priests still refer to a priest as, "father?" Of course the archbishop flounders in his response because there is no defense for the actions of the catholic church...shameful. Patrick OUT!!!

Getting older everyday

Last night I watched the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concert. It had the feel of a benefit concert, lots of big name acts coming out performing their biggest hits. The different thing was that just about every act had some sort of other hall of fame name come out and perform with them. Some of these pairings really worked, Metallica/Ozzy Osbourne and others didn't do so well. The highlight for me was definitely the U2/Fergie/will.i.am/Mick Jagger singing "Gimme Shelter." I would say i'm a big fan of the rolling stones (that song in particular), a fan of U2 and I generally thing that Fergie sucks. This time though, fergie was great in the chorus sections and really shined there. She was a bit of a diva but i suppose you really need to be when you're on stage with Bono AND Mick Jagger. The highlight though was 66 year old Mick, strutting around like a cocky 20 something...never missing a beat. Sure he looks a bit like a skeleton, and you worry he might break a hip but in reality, i hope i'm that lucky. I think if I started practicing my over the top strut now, by 66 i could be half as good as Jagger. 
Another of my favorite acts was also there, Crosby Stills and Nash. They should probably consider hanging it up for good. The beauty of their music is the harmonies they produce and that was almost entirely gone from this performance. They just couldn't exactly hold it together and it doesn't quite work. For them, I'll stick to the original albums and not worry about seeing them live. Other highlights included Sam Moore (still awesome), Buddy Guy (just great), Jeff Beck (rocks a guitar so hard it should be illegal), and Bruce Springsteen (who is just the best performer out there). Patrick OUT!!!

Gervais on Genesis

Ricky Gervais on the Bible...hilarious.

Patrick OUT!!!

Sharia Law Explained

The video below is very powerful but also contains VERY GRAPHIC images. Its message is quite simple and should be a wake-up call to anyone who doubts the power that religion has to explicitely motivate the most inhumane acts imaginable.

Patrick OUT!!!

Hot Stuff

For a good long time I was really into backpacking and camping and all of that. I still probably camp 5-10 weekends a year in some form or another but its not like it was a few years back. I think there are two schools of thought in regards to camping. The first is, "How much can I replicate the comforts of home and still be outside." The second is, "How little can I bring and not die of exposure." I am all about the second theory. I don't want to bring anything unnecessary but I also don't want to die. For me that means, things that do double duty, things that are durable, and things that solve problems in a creative and useful way. For years, to cook food (because one can not live on pop-tarts alone), I used a really great MSR simmerlite stove. Its a standard white gas stove that I really enjoyed because it was pretty dependable, well built, and entirely FIELD SERVICEABLE. I never had it break down or let me down...even in some pretty harsh conditions (think subzero, blizzard conditions). And yet, I wanted more.
The MSR stove is a great product but its heavy. The stove and a half bottle of fuel (smallest bottle they make) weighs in at  1.5 lbs. At one point, I could pack for a summer trip and have everything I was going to take (tent, sleeping bag, food, fuel, clothes, backpack, etc) weigh in at 20-25 lbs. That means that the stove was accounting for a whopping 6% of my total pack weight. NOT COOL.
Thats when I discovered my first alcohol stove in the gear inventory of an AT thru-hiker. I soon made my own and have now made 10-15 of them. They are constructed from two pepsi-can bottoms and some high-temp epoxy. When all is said and done...they often weight less than an ounce (1/50th of the MSR stove). Fuel is just ethanol which makes it a "greener" stove than the MSR (no foreign petrolium here). With boiling a cup or two of water they can easilly compete with the MSR in terms of speed (though their heat output is significantly less). For just one person they are perfect. I recently found that you can buy the same one that I make on ebay for more than $10 which is a pretty good turn around for a half hour of time and 45 cents worth of materials. If you camp and you want one...let me know. Patrick OUT!!! 

Jail Time...really?

The new health insurance initiative includes penalties for going without health insurance...which may or may not include jail time. I can't help but be brought back to the visions of Ayn Rand and her descriptions of governmental power by force. That is the only group in society that can take what is your by the threat of physical harm is the government. In that sense, we should limit the power of the government. Now, I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about the health care debate and I don't know enough about this bill to really be able to comment on it but I would have a hard time supporting jail time for people without health insurance. Why should it be that the government can threaten you with physical harm to force the purchase of a product (don't forget, health insurance is a product like any other). If they want to provide an affordable version of that product than so be it but don't make me buy yours or anyone elses. In return, I'll absolve the government of its responsibility to look after my health at all. ; ) Patrick OUT!!!

Craft Brew per Capita

I think this map might be my new guide for where my next job should be. Montana, Oregon, Maine...anyone? Patrick OUT!!!

Post-doc ho

Looks like my perfect policy fellowship is no longer a possibility...alas, not eligible until NEXT year. So what now? Well back to plan B (now plan A). I need a job in 10 months. What sort of job? I need a post-doc or maybe a job in industry. Here's what I need out of that job. I need Independence. I've been spoiled as a grad student by having mentors who have been largely absent and yet trusting. After only about one and a half years, my advisor left on a two year sabbatical and my other advisor became an associate dean which left me on my own. Heavenly to say the least...both too busy to be concerned with my day to day comings and goings. I need that again. I need a place where I feel pressured to get shit done and a lab with research that can move faster. I'm getting frustrated with my experiments that i can't speed up at all. I need a system that is quicker and more instantly satisfying than what I've got now. Weeks of experimental prep is no good...i want a time scale of days. Also, i don't want to be in Worcester any more, though I'll miss parts of it. I want people around me that are all working on facets of a similar problem and that are able to provide suggestions and criticism of what I'm doing. I want to diverge from my current research. I need to be more biochemistry and less physiology (he's a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock and roll). I want a lab that is truly collaborative where I can dip into other projects with ideas and get a taste for a lot of little things besides my own work. That being said, if anyone knows of a lab in need of a post-doc...let me know...I'm open to lots of things. Labs in southern California and Hawaii are highly encouraged to contact me. Patrick OUT!!!