A Self-Aggrandizing and Slightly Anti-Intellectual Anecdote

Erica and Gus on the plane

Gus, housemate, and Erica, me, were having a discussion on the airplane to Michigan.

Gus is getting her PhD in something nifty, like Education and Video Gaming, or MMORPG Search Behavior. Or something. I dunno. I kinda tune out a bit. Ever asked a social scientist about her thesis? Don’t. At least not before 10am on a Sunday.

Gus was bewailing the lack of Practical Research available in her chosen field of SomethingorOther, and how the interdisciplinary nature of the subject made finding Solid Evidence difficult…something something…did I mention it was early?

I tuned back in once I put together what she was talking about.

“Wait a minute…” I said, blearily. “A PhD in something Practical?”

“Isn’t that called a job?”

Yahoo! Games picks up video game based on Macauly Library sounds

snapshot.pngNYC game developers Large Animal Games have created a downloadable PC video game based on bird sounds and expertise provided by the Macaulay Library at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology.

Which is where I work.

The game is called Snapshot Adventures. It was recently was acquired by Yahoo! games, which is a great for both the Lab and for environmental education, since part of the money it earns will directly fund our ecology work.

picture-3.png You can play it for free here.

Pirates of the Bibliotecha

Erica and Rabbit-the-dog

Winter cometh. Rabbit-the-dog gets up early, and lately when I let her out she tiptoes around the frozen yard with an accusing look on her snout. We had her spayed last week, and she had to wear one of those doggie satellite dishes around her neck. I soothed her the best I could, but when I left for work the first day she pressed her head up against the door and whimpered. With the plastic cone on, it looked like we had suction-cupped a dog to our wall.

It has been a week of recovery for everyone. I’m coming out of an awful cold, which has re-introduced me to the joys of Allegra abuse. I’ve been self-medicating with hot toddies and delivery pizza. After five days, my head has finally deflated to normal size and my overabundance of phlegm no longer frightens the co-workers. Coming in to work sick is great if you enjoy people asking you “do you have allergies, or is that…(suspicious pause)…a cold?”

Our University inaugurated a new president last week, and since I now find myself with faculty status, I was able to march in the academic procession. Hundreds of over-educated people in silly clothes wound their way across campus in the cold. In our fancy schmancy regalia, it was a great big academic drag show. A whole crowd from the library showed up, and there was talk of staging a raid on the nearby Law School. We figured we could use our mortarboards and rapier-like wit as weapons and take over their budget.