Scott's MD-PhD Adventure

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Breast Cancer for $1

Andrew pointed out to me a couple months ago how the people at Dominicks ask for donations with strange (missing) language:
"Would you like to give $1 for prostate cancer?"

Today, I got asked by 3 separate people, including my cashier, about breast cancer.
"Hi sir, can you contribute $1 to breast cancer?"
"Would you like to support breast cancer for $1?"
"We're asking people to give $1 for breast cancer. Can you help?"

And the sign on all of the jars in which they are collecting money:
"Breast Cancer $1"

If one of them used the words research or families or treatment, I might be inclined to say yes! *sigh*

SNL is back

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Goddess of Love

Andrew & I at the gym today...

A: So the office is on tonight?
Me: Yes!
A: It's an hour right?
Me: Mm hmm. And it doesn't conflict with Ugly Betty
A: Right.
Me: Do you watch Ugly Betty?
A: Not really. I've seen a few episodes
Me: It's so good! There are two gay guys and Vanessa Williams is fabulous!
A: Isn't she a tennis player?
Me: No! That's Venus Williams!
A: Hahaha! Oops!

I love this class

Animal Class, 9:01am today...

~30 people. 2 males, including me.

How many of you are members of a [animal] welfare organization?
0 hands
How many of you are vegetarians?
1 hand
How many of you attend religious services regularly?
3 hands (including the vegetarian)
Oh...ok. I guess nobody is in PETA.

Later in class...

"Let's talk about religion. In this country, most people are Christian, which is monotheistic. So in this country, we tend to worship heroes, but we also don't like it when people or things who are considered defenseless have something harm them. The most heinous crime in this country is child molestation. I submit to you that in many people's minds, animals are a close second. But most religions think animals have intrinsic value. That means that animals have values because they exist."

"Let's talk about philosophers. Rene Descartes weighed in on a lot of things. He was one of the founders of geometry and he also had an opinion on animals."

"Some animals don't really have self consciousness. They will make threatening faces at themselves in the mirror. Either they don't understand themselves or they don't understand the mirror."

We also were treated to the definitions of distress and anxiety/fear. I didn't type them cause I realized too late and the slide was changed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

No Judgment

I <3 Bill Maher most of the time, especially here.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Pretty good Fresh Air interview with Thomas Ricks, the author of Fiasco.

"What's interesting is the best anti-war movement argument of 2002, that 'going into Iraq will cause civil war and turn everything into chaos' is now being used as the only reason to stay in Iraq - that leaving will result in civil war and chaos."

Animal Class: Week 3

I feel like I'm taking Mike's EU class with details on regulations and bureaucracy.

Quotes of the week, typed directly with >95% accuracy.

You may feel that we're being picky. Well, we're being picky for a reason. Someone from USDA comes once a year, unannounced. This year, he was here for 4 DAYS! He spent 3 days reading through our protocols!

Subcommittee chairs spend 3 hours in their meetings and 4 hours in the full committee meeting. That's 7 hours of someone's time...this shows how much we care! The full committee meets once a month and there must be a quorum - we can't do it by email. The whole point is to have a discussion, and you can't have a discussion by email. People don't necessarily say what they want in email.

If you have to submit edits and changes, it's a good idea to highlight what you changed to make it easier for us to figure that out.

The whole filling out forms on Microsoft Word, that's over. Now you fill out your forms online...basically the internet. You'll be filling out an internet type form on a secure website. These forms are what they call quote unquote smart forms. You'll be asked a series of questions and it's kinda like a credit card application, if you haven't filled out a box, they won't let you submit it. This is a big committment for the university. It's $200,000 and paying people for 6 months to get these user-friendly forms for you.

Lay language for the IRB is on a 6th grade level. It's hard for our investigators to go down to that level. We have a non-scientist on the committee and that member has to be able to understand it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fed Dude

Bob: Oh wow. The fed lowered the interest rate!
Lili: Fed?
Bob: The federal reserve chairman lowered the interest rates
Lili: What's that mean?
Bob: The rate to borrow money, it's now 0.5% less
Lili: When I got my car, it was like 5% but now, it is much better!
Bob: Ok
Lili: So if I want to get the loan for the house? That is now low?
Bob: I think it would be lower, I'm not sure.

Lili: What is...dude?
Bob: Like guy
Lili: uh huh
Bob: Like "hi guy"
Lili: uh huh
Bob: Or "hi dude"
Lili: So, it does not mean something different?
Bob: No, not really


Friday, September 14, 2007

Ethnic Food

Such a fucking good list of ethnic restaurants in Chicago. It's funny how Mike&I have managed to find most of these independently of this list, and if someone asked us to make our list, it would pretty much be this. Yum!

Chocolate Brown

After we started eating our 50mL tubes full of M&M's from the Fisher product show this week...

Lili: At home, I have the chocolate. It's in my refrigerator. It's from the Kraft.
Me: Kraft?
Lili: Yes. That is the brand and it has the elephant. I don't usually eat the chocolate at home though.
Me: Huh? What brand?
Lili: I think it is spell c-o-l-e, but it's from the Kraft.
Me: I've never heard of it
Lili: I will bring it in next week and you can eat it!
Me: You are sure it's Kraft?
*Lili looks it up online. Bob helps*
Lili: Here it is! I remember this. I don't know how you say this.

At lunch...
Lili: This morning, I had on the Regis & Kelly. Kelly said that the UPS man, he has to wear the short, whether it is summer or winter! Is that true?

Me&Bob: Um, I think they get to wear pants.

Lili: Maybe. I thought, 'they must be cold!'


Thursday, September 13, 2007

I <3 Overheard Gym Conversations

Three dirty frat boys at the gym today, all overheard and slightly embellished from memory.

DFB1: Dude, I'm gonna work out my arms so much.
DFB2: Yeah
DFB1: You know what would be cool? If I was a quadriped
DFB3: Awesome
DFB1: Yeah, I want my arms to be as big as my legs, then I could walk on them.
DFB2: That would be cool!

5 minutes later...

DFB2: *lifts up shirt* I have no chest hair.
DFB3: Maybe I have one
DFB1: I think between the 3 of us, we have way less than [some other guy]
DFB2: Ha! Yeah bro.

5 minutes later...

DFB2: So you made out with her?
DFB1: Dude, she was down on her knees, with her hands out like she was receiving communion.

After all of this I said to Andrew... "I think they're about to compare penises."

Imperial President

Great and fascinating interview with the guy who wrote all about the Presidential signing statements. A must listen!

Severely Crazy

Animal Class: Week 2

Today's exciting topic...the employee health program. Aka, the risks of working with animals and how to tell your doctor you work with them in case of bites/scratches/diseases/allergies. This lasted an hour.

Quotes of the day:
"If someone has severe allergies, it can be quite severe."

"If you have substantial contact with animals, you will need a basic physical exam before and periodically. Not a crazy 'take all of your clothes off' physical though, mostly just blood pressure."

Happy Rosh Hashanah

Lili: So, why is the jewish holiday on a thursday? Sometimes it is on different day?
Me: It's based on a different calendar, like chinese new year.
Lili: Oh! that is right. so it could be on saturday or sunday?
Me: Sure.
Lili: And today is the first day?
Me: I don't know. It's 5768 or something.
Lili: Wow! That is as long as chinese history!
Me: Right, the jews didn't reset the calendar to 0 for Jesus.
Lili: That is interesting.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Definition of Boredom

I started my mandatory Animal Ethics class today. 1 credit, pass/fail. 9am once/week. If you are tardy (>10 minutes late) you have to sign in on the other clipboard. 4 tardies or more = automatic fail and you have to re-take the class.

Today we covered exciting things like the USDA policy on animal care and what a bunch of acronyms stand for. There's of course a homework assignment where clever people (about 5 of us) fill in the answers on this silly sheet as the instructor says them, while everyone else (about 45 people) takes notes on the outline and I guess does the homework later.

Notable direct quotes of the day...

1. (describing how you fill out lots of applications to try and get research funding)
"You will throw as many poles into the water until you get a hit."

2. (explaining why there are so many definitions in the policies)
"Definitions define definitive terms in the law."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

P town

Lili went to Provincetown for a vacation.

First day back - video!

Second day back -

Lili: All of the t-shirt there, they are like $5. Can you imagine? Usually sightseeing place, they have the shirt for 10 or 15 dollar! This one they are just $5! hehehehe. And the seafood is really good too.

Lili: They have the candy... it is f-u-d-g-e?
Me: fudge?
Lili: Yes fudge! They sell it by the pounds. People buy the pounds of it! The smell is good, but I don't want to buy that much candy! It is probably too sweet. And they show you how they make those. It's very sticky most of them.

After she shows me pictures...

Me: So, did you know what all of the rainbow flags meant?
Lili: There were rainbow flags?
Me: Yeah, open that picture. See, there are 8 in this photo alone. That means it's a gay&lesbian area.
Lili: Oh. My husband and I did not know that. We tried to go for brunch to this place. The man, when we walked in, he looked mad and said "CAN I HELP YOU?" Maybe we were at the place we are not welcome?
Me: They were probably just confused as to why you were there. Especially for brunch.