Bragging Rights Central archive, Apr 2013 – Dec 14

I still haven’t quite got back into the regular BRC update habit, but rest assured I have systems in place to make sure I don’t miss any of your awesome comments or posts!

Date listed is the date of archiving, not the date of the comment or post.

Comment(s) of the week:

Apr 14 2013: cromercrox for “I’m sure you can get some funding for your book from that leading oncological magazine, the Daily Nimbyist Bungaloid Curtain Twitcher Daily Mail.”

cromercrox again for “Crox Minor (aged nearly 15) tells me that a good definition of a teenager is someone who hasn’t done their maths homework but would know exactly what to do in the event of a zombie apocalypse.”

chezjake for “I do love the term “tartle” and will try to remember to use it.

Another approach to the problem is one used by my good friend Bill. At any large gathering of folks, he wears a large button that reads “Sorry, I can’t remember your name either.””

and Mike for “Great word – invaluable! But never heard once in my formative years. Srsly, 24 years in Scotchland and I never once heard anyone utter this word. “Common” it ain’t, at least not in the Central belt.

I reckon it’s roots are a polite form of “brain fart” and a really polite form of “Ahm such a fuppin diddy, ah’ve goan an forgot yer name”.”

Jul 04 2013:

Nina and Grant for the following exchange: Nina: “Life should be a conference, everyone wearing nametags all the time, with their first name, last name, nickname, country of origin and country of residence. Birthdate optional.”

Grant: Nina, I’m sure tech types will suggest we’ll all be bumping cell phones to exchange names in a few years. (Eurgh.)

One more: you know that thing where the person can’t quite read your name tag and leans in close over your chest to read it…

Nina: “ok, how about tattooing your name onto your forehead?”

Grant: “How about a sub-dermal name implant invisible when not active that glows when triggered by trained neural signals beaming your name to the people opposite you?

Failing that we could all wear electrode scalp caps that carry a flip up sign… (Taking as my cue the brain-computer interfaces emotiv and others are marketing.)”

[NB as a chronic tartler, I approve of all the above methods]

Alyssa for “It’s cloudy again
We see it’s cold and dreary
But – we have windows!!!”

Ricardipus for “Bugger me, the grant’s
Finally done. Thank goodness.
Now back to fun stuff.”

Bean-mom for “I just clicked on the article on circular RNAs–I’d seen the headline earlier but hadn’t yet read it–and just as I expected, I’m all WTF?! MicroRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, now we’ve got circular RNAs. . . I feel like someone should just write a review titled, “RNA: WTF?””

Nina again for “edit: my advisor has improved his standing desk further by standing on a wooden board that balances on a small (but sturdy) plastic tube, to make him wobble while standing, so to keep working those balancing muscles, or something like that. The tube comes from one of my experiments. I will miss that “wtf I’ll create my own standing desk – pilates work-out” attitude, I must admit.”

Bob O’H for “Reminds me of my youth playing boardgames. There was one called Civilisation, which a friend described as “almost as long as the real thing”.”

Chall “it surely looks like the Leafs MIGHT go to play offs for the first time in 7 years…. if I didn’t jinx it by saying it here of course. That said, I find myself wondering how bad it will be to end 5th place if Boston stays 4th. It sort of feels better to play the 3rd (Capitals right now) than Bruins but right now I’ll settle for PLAYOFFS and miracle :)”

[the Leafs making the playoffs is a miracle indeed]

KJHaxton for “Good question! I’d put:
– occasional baker of cakes for meetings
– fair to moderate tolerance for bullshit
– low tolerance for unfairness and willing to get very cross about it (folds arms and glowers at the screen)
– best selection of tea bags in desk drawer (8 kinds at last count)
– prone to wearing scarves and shirts that don’t match

Ah well, I’m not sure I’d find a new job on the basis of those :)”

Ricardipus again for “Pros:
– rarely swears in public
– has few friends, so unlikely to have loud, belly-laughing conversations on phone or in person
– capable of speaking at length about (a) race cars, (b) cameras, or (c) bad science

– occasionally swears in public
– has few friends, so likely to have poor social interactions with co-workers
– capable of speaking at length about (a) race cars, (b) cameras, or (c) bad science

I’d also probably include “easily suckered into serving on irrelevant committees” into each category, too.”

Bean-mom again for “–Friendly.

–Doesn’t bake, but if you have a potluck I’ll bring killer spring rolls (both crispy fried pork ones, and the vegetarian fresh rice-paper ones).

–Doesn’t bake, but husband bakes. Occasionally, you may be a recipient of his talent.

–Will cheerfully listen to other people’s dramas, but won’t cause any of my own. Not at work, anyway.”

and Nina yet again for “As I may have mentioned before, I’m pretty sure my cv point “Love baking (chocolate) cakes” earned me my PhD position, and it definitely often raised questions in interviews (“so, how often do you bake cake? What kind of chocolate do you use?”)”

Dec 22 2014: Richard Wintle and Mike for the following exchange:

Richard Wintle: “Wouldn’t it be awesomely meta to leave a comment on a Bragging Rights Central archive post that is so tremendously witty that it itself makes it into Bragging Rights Central?

Why, yes it would. You know what to do. Go on, I dare ya”.

Mike: “But this is bragging rights central, not post-modern rights central. Is nothing sacred anymore :’O(”

(Yes, as per my response on that thread, comments about comments on a BRC post making it into BRC, just made it into BRC)

Richard Wintle again for “That whole Kindle vs. Canada thing is symptomatic of the vs. problem. In the US, you could outfit an entire home, including a considerable quantity of camping gear for backyard cookouts and sleepovers, from Amazon. If you did the same in Canada, you’d be sleeping in a hut made of books and DVDs, and eating off plates reverse-engineered from cheap east-Asian knock-offs of Nikon lens caps.

On the other hand, the Kobo I bought my wife for her birthday last year might have been the Unfortunately raising the bar for this year somewhat…

Also – thanks for the link to the Giant Metal Chicken story. I LMAO’d, as the expression goes. And then immediately sent it to my wife with a note saying, roughly, “See? I didn’t do this for our anniversary which by the way is in two days. Doesn’t this just confirm what an excellent husband I am?””

Cromercrox for “I suspect that the magic of such occasions owes a great deal to nostalgia. I once heard a comment on this topic by some wag who said ‘by the time we got to Woodstock we were half a million strong – and three hundred thousand of us were looking for the toilets’.”

Nina for “this opens up the category “humans do the darndest things” which I assure you is endless, infinite entertainment (and worry).”


“Would you laugh if I made fun of the danrdlnest things rRNA does, especially when we’re talking mutilation by darnlde humans??!”


“feel free to visit NZ bush. If ever I saw trees do as they please in a darned way, it was here”

Grant for “While on a sailing trip off western Fiordland I scrambled to the top of a tiny island. Everything grew on top eachother to such an extent that at points I realised I was a fair way above the ground. (Similar to experiences I’ve had a walking in old windfall areas, but this time just simply the extent of things growing on top of eachother – the moss covers it all and if you’re not careful you don’t realise you’re not on the ground. I should add this isn’t something most visitors to New Zealand will encounter.)

Speaking of the interior of hedges, there are places I’ve walked that are like a hedge stretching in all directions. You don’t so much walk as try barge your way through the stuff. In one area like that, on the west of Stewart Island, I was left crawling in hip-high tunnels through the base of the dense scrub left by white tail deer. Every so often there would be a point I could crawl on top of the bushes to look around and see where I’d crawled to! It was more like caving than anything else.”

Nina again for “I was at a birthday party last week and my friend had requested “an organic or sustainable present”. To be honest, with being homeless and moving from one place to the other and getting sorted in the NL again, I just hadn’t had the time to look for a present. But I told her “the most organic and sustainable present is no present at all”, which she took as a great truth. (it was also the first time in 8 years I was at her party so that earned me good points)”

Bob O’H “I thought the best present for the man who has everything was a strong course of antibiotics.”

Chall for “A few months into my post-doc I told my co-workers about the “pearl necklace my old professor gave me” as a dissertation present…. yep. Had NO idea what that was either. (It was really a real necklace made of pearls, a very nice pressie.) They DIED laughing seeing that I didn’t understand why it was such a gem to say. As for me, I almost died realising I’d told that story to some faculty members a few days earlier when they told me what it meant. Oh the translation woes… ;)”

Nina yet again for “my largest translation-misunderstanding so far, is the dual meaning of the word “beaver”. As a student I was roaming the streets of Amsterdam one night and this cute, Canadian guy came up to us asking where he could get some beaver. So, I went into a naturalistic explanation of why there are no beavers in the Netherlands. When he realised I didn’t know what he was talking about he nearly peed his pants, and left me in great confusion. Later one of my male friends was able to enlighten me.”

Mike again for “I keep wanting to type the ol’ spit-take splort with all the necklace based double entendres, but somehow it seems completely inappropriate.”

Nina YET AGAIN, FFS for “I thought you would have given him a bear hug on the spot and declared your love to Canada and he would have taken you to the Canadian embassy, where he was clearly going, to celebrate/watch the game with other lonesome but cheerful Canadians. Maybe I’m romanticising Canadianism.”

and Beth for “That ad is cute, except for the fact that I wouldn’t want people from other countries thinking that we actually drink that swill.”

Post(s) of the Week:

Apr 14 2013: Prof-like Substance for “Undergrad advising: when to hold em and when to fold em” (how much should you push undergrads along their initial path, as opposed to suggesting others to which they might be better suited?)

Jul 04 2013: Beth Snow for “Modern conveniences” (how on earth did we survive, let alone study and write theses, before Skype and cloud computing?!)

Steve Caplan for “Science education: the generalist vs the specialist” (are 3 year or 4 year degrees better for students?)

Bean-mom for “Leaving scientific research… again” (science SUCKS sometimes)

Eva Amsen, writing at the Occam’s Typewriter Irregulars for “The two ideas to fix the gender balance that do not make me cringe” (the panel pledge and the Finkbeiner test)

Bob O’Hara for “Making reviewing boring stuff less boring” (would a stripped-down manuscript format work better for the, um, less exciting papers out there?)

Alyssa for “Just the pants, thanks” (absolutely hilarious take on the modern clothes shopping experience)

Eva Amsen again for “My self-updating address book” (how LinkedIn can be useful)

CromerCrox for “Plagues” (how’s God been cursing you lately?)

Prof-like Substance for “If you don’t talk to your kids about it someone else will” (anticipating school-yard talk about religion and other big issues)

and CromerCrox again for “Conferences” (the problem of sexism at conferences)

Dec 22 2014: Beth Snow for “Why you should always proofread” (I read this a week ago, and I am still laughing)

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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7 Responses to Bragging Rights Central archive, Apr 2013 – Dec 14

  1. Mike says:

    Mmmmmm, bragalicious 🙂

  2. Wouldn’t it be awesomely meta to leave a comment on a Bragging Rights Central archive post that is so tremendously witty that it itself makes it into Bragging Rights Central?

    Why, yes it would. You know what to do. Go on, I dare ya.

Comments are closed.