Saturday, April 28, 2007

Joe Blog's Interview #107 Female Science Professor

Name : Female Science Professor
Age : Older Than You
Location : Blogosphere
Vocation : Science Professor
Philosophy : Sarcasm

Sum up what your blog is about.
The quotidian and cosmic academic experiences of a quasi-senior woman science professor who loves her job but finds some aspects of it more annoying and puzzling than others.

Why are you doing your blog?
I like to write, I like to communicate with lots of random anonymous people, and I like to make fun of annoying and absurd professional colleagues.

What's the funniest entry on your site?
Almost anything about a faculty meeting, believe it or not: e.g. Real Men & Diversity,

What is your writing style?
Professorial, but I want to write like Orhan Pamuk, though perhaps in English, but with more sarcasm.

What do people commonly say about your site?
That what I write either encourages or discourages people, sometimes at the same time.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your blog?
I would be posting videos of my cats on YouTube. In these videos, my cats' actions are metaphors for major themes in life and global politics: life, death, technology, lawns, war. I feel that I need to share this with the world, although it is extremely annoying when someone's video of a cat sitting in a bird feeder (doing nothing!) gets orders of magnitude, more hits than my cats' dynamic cine-poetry.

Why should someone visit your site?
So that they can see how much fun it is to be a science professor.

What did you learn from your first love?
Statistical Mechanics.

Are there any blogs, you enjoy reading?
I commonly peruse some academic/science blogs.

If you could invite anyone to a dinner party who would it be and why?
Do I have to choose a living person? If so, then I choose Orhan Pamuk. If I can choose a dead person but not have them actually be dead at the dinner party, I choose Herodotus. If Herodotus was too busy, Strabo would be OK too.

What area of science do you find most fascinating?
Physical sciences.

What in science developments do you see having the most impact in the next couple of decades?
Science research related to critical societal issues involving resources, water, climate, oceans, and ecosystems.

Tell us about a good deed you have done recently.
I just fed my cats. I had no choice, but it still counts as a good deed.

Tell us a random funny story that comes to mind.
A friend of mine was working in a restaurant and a rather rude customer came up to her and said MAKE ME A HAMBURGER. She pretended to touch him with her magic wand and said POOF! You're a hamburger!

What advice would you have given yourself 5 years ago?
Feed your cats on Friday, 27 April, 2007. Throw out that purple shirt now.

Any interesting travel stories?
I was traveling alone in a remote region of the world with a highly recommended guide/driver who spoke even less of my language than I did of his, and I only knew a bit of his. He kept taking me to the wrong places and I kept saying, using the few words of his language that I knew: "This [X = name of the incorrect destination] is bad. This [X] is wrong." He muttered unhappy-sounding words and took me to the next wrong place. I said "NO, this [X] is very bad. This [X] is very wrong." I tried to point on the map where I wanted to go, but he ignored me. He started screaming and hitting me on my arm. I endured another hour of wrong destinations and screaming and hitting. Finally he drove me to a military station and took me to some heavily armed men, and continued screaming while pointing at me. One of the soldiers laughed and asked me "Do you know what this man's last name is?" I said no, I only knew his first name. Well, his last name was... X. He thought I had been saying that HE was a bad person, and my rudeness finally made him so mad that he decided I should be arrested. The soldiers told me to fire him because he was crazy and I shouldn't be alone with him.

Do you have any strong opinions you would like to debate with me?
Sans-serif fonts are far superior to serif fonts.

Joe Blogs : As we all know Sans-serif fonts are for bolder headlines and Serif fonts are not. Serif fonts have details on the end of strokes, San's-Serif meaning without, in French. Sans-Serif is commonly known as Gothic, and Serif as Roman. I'm partial to a bit of Times New Roman myself, much prettier than Aerial! I'm sure the Pope prefers his own font though.

What's the most incredible thing that ever happened to you?
My daughter was born exactly at 5:00 pm at the exact moment that NPR plays that top-of-the-hour pre-headline music intro, and so every day when I listen to NPR I relive the experience of childbirth and I'd really rather not (although my daughter is the greatest thing in the world blah blah blah).

Now it's your turn! Ask me one question, anything you like.

Do you think it is appropriate to give people names, to pets?

Joe Blogs : A pet is supposed to be a joy so why not give it a human name. It's not like it can pick a name for itself. On the other hand giving a pet a personality and talking to it like it understands your every word can be a bit inappropriate. I'm talking about those people that constantly carry their dogs round in bags or in their arms, and let them lick their faces. So you'd prefer non human names, how about Spock, or E.T?

Your Site Address : Female Science Professor