Monday, April 22, 2013

Irony or Coincidence?

After over 2 years since our beloved, stray cat, Butterscrotch, went missing, just yesterday Trevor encouraged me to finally throw out the stash of cat food that I left by the front door in the case our poor, scabbed feline friend ever returned....

Today I came home to this new little fur ball sun-bathing on my stoop:

hello new kitty!

So would you say that is ironic or coincidental?

I'd say it's neither.  When you try to stuff a large bag of cat food into an over flowing garbage can, the strays will come... it's science.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blue-Eyed Beard-os

 Favorite NCAA basketball star:

true story

Favorite NFL quarterback:
true story

Favorite actor:
(ok, this one's a stretch)

What can I say? I suppose I have a thing for blue-eyed boys....

...and beards

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not So Social Science

One year for Christmas or a birthday, I received a leopard print coffee mug with a big pink "J" on it.  I brought it to work and now I drink my daily dose of coffee out of it religiously.  One day, I walked into the breakroom at work carrying the abovementioned pink leopard print cup, and a co-worker says to me, "I really like your coffee reminds me of my wife's underpants."...Yikes.

You see, people who work in a lab aren't often judged by their interactions with others.  They don't always have the charisma and social awareness that others  might possess, say in a sales or marketing position where others' decisions are based on their impression of you.  

They don't always think "Hey, maybe it's inappropriate if I talk about my wife's underpants to anyone other than my wife."  

They don't always think "Maybe I shouldn't bring the communal work breakroom newspaper into the bathroom with me and put it back on the table for everyone else to touch afterwards.... why would that be weird, or disgusting, or unacceptable?"

Today at work I heard the line "Costco is to celebrities, like what birth control is to the pap smear."

Think about it.  Trying to relate it?  Can't?  Wonder why?   You most likely cannot make sense of it because lab people, failing in their social connections, are very good at making seemingly irrelatable connections everywhere else.

What was meant in the line above is that birth control was the driving force for women to start getting pap smears, just like how Costco is the driving force for celebrities to shop out in public.  The pap smear was invented by Dr. Papanicolaou as a test to detect cervical cancer in women and when it was first becoming a standard of practice, many women were very hesitant to go and get it done. Understandably so.  It's awkward.  It's uncomfortable. No one else is really doing it yet.  Regardless of it being the single most successful early detection method and preventing up to 80% of cervical cancer deaths, many women still avoided it.   That is until birth control started gaining popularity.  In order the get the highly sought after birth control pills, women had to go to the gynecologist and get a prescription.  And to complete their visit, and according to protocol, women had to get a pap smear. Pap smear rates boomed as women went in for the pills.  

Shortly after that conversation happened, while looking through the microscope at a lung cancer biopsy, the discussion turned to how to tell if the cells we were looking at were from a living person or a sample from an autopsy (aka a dead person).  Then we talked about autopsies.  Then I brought up how I could not eat red meat after doing autopsies   Then my friend goes on to talk about "You know who has the best meat?... Costco! USDA certified meat....Best meat you can get.  Best wines you can get, too. You go to Costco on a Sunday morning, you'll see all the Santa Barbara celebrities.   Costco is to celebrities, what birth control is to the pap smear."

Now you get it?  Well, don't think about it too much.

Another "good" analogy that recently came up at work related the rate of prostate cancer to the treatment of Julius Cesar's army after a war.  You may not know this, but according to this story, after Cesar's army lost a battle they would all regroup at home and line up in front of Cesar.  Cesar would load his gun and go down the line of soldiers shooting every 10th man.  In the statistical world, this rate of death after a battle can be equated to 10%...which is close to 9%... which is the rate of prostate cancer in males over 50 (don't quote me, I don't remember the exact stat).    Prostate cancer is just like Julius Cesar... after a long "battle" (or life) it'll just "kill" (or show up in)  about every 10th man.